At the age of six, Jesse Levis attended his first major league baseball game watching the Phillies play Henry Aaron and the Braves at Veterans Stadium. That day his dreams began to crystallize: he wanted to become a major league ballplayer.
Levis grew up in Northeast Philadelphia playing Little League Baseball at Tarken playground. Tagging along and often playing with his older brother Jules and his friends, Levis’ passion grew as he worked toward his dream.
He soon began playing American Legion baseball at Loudenslager Post. Fellow Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame Inductee, Ruben Amaro Jr. was a teammate. After graduating from Northeast High School in 1986, Levis was drafted by his hometown Philadelphia Phillies. Instead of signing on, he decided to accept a baseball scholarship from The University of North Carolina, where he became an All American Catcher for the Tar Heels.
After his junior year, Jesse was drafted once again, this time in the 4th round of the 1989 MLB draft by the Cleveland Indians. The 5’9″ left handed hitter made his big league debut at the age of 24 on April 24, 1992 and played his final game on October 7, 2001. He played parts of 9 seasons in the Major Leagues with the Tribe and the Milwaukee Brewers. As a member of the Indians, he was part of the 1995 American League championship team with Hall Of Famers Eddie Murray, Dave Winfield, and Jim Thome.
Levis’ career highlights included 26 Major League pinch hits and a career high batting average of .285 in 1997 with the Milwaukee Brewers. He also led the American League in fielding percentage with .998 in 1996. Ricky Henderson, the all-time stolen bases leader, was the first major league player Levis threw out trying to steal a base.
When he retired in 2004, Levis began his scouting and player development career. He has been working as a professional scout with the Philadelphia Phillies for the past 8 seasons.