Rob Alevizos '80 spent the summer working in Geneva. Also, Elmira, Utica and Little Falls.
Coming off a spectacular (7-0) senior season, the former Crimson hurler latched onto the Chicago Cubs organization as a free agent and pitched for the Geneva, N.Y., entry in the single-A New York-Penn. league.
Although he didn't baffle the pros as he did the Eastern League, Alevizos had a fine season. In 16 games, the Newton resident compiled a 4-1 record and 2.85 earned run average, with most of his appearances in short relief.
"I would say the N.Y.-Penn. League was better than the competition we played against at Harvard," Alevizos said. "The teams had a lot more depth and speed, and more hitting, too. In college you had a couple of hitters to face on each team, but in pro ball just about everyone hits well."
Alevizos apparently impressed the Cubs brass sufficiently to be invited back for next season. He may be assigned to Midland of the double-A Texas League, but is more likely to put in a stint with a single-A squad in Burlington, Iowa.
"I had a good summer," Alevizos said. "I haven't told my mother yet, but I'm going back. I'll keep my options open, but if things go well I'll stick with it."
His mother wants him to settle down to a nine-to-five job, but dad understands--after all, he knows the business. An ex-Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox vice-president, the elder Alevizos is negotiating to buy the Chicago White Sox. If the sale comes through, and young Alevizos pitches his way to the majors, father and son could meet for dinner when the Cubs are home.
But before he calls the Pump Room for reservations, Alevizos will have to get accustomed to pitching relief. "I only had one start this year, and I prefer starting," he said. "But I think I'd have a better chance to make it big as a reliever. I don't have the strongest arm in the world, and when I start I often get tired after six, seven innings."
But Alevizos didn't tire too often this season--he amassed 32 strikeouts and only 14 walks in 41 innings. He retains his customary good control, and now supplements his specialty--a good, moving fastball--with more off- speed stuff.
Unlike many minor leaguers, Alevizos won't be hurting if his baseball fortunes turn sour. Since last summer, he's been licensed to sell real estate--his off-season profession. Of course, he also has his Harvard degree.
But for now, Alevizos will pursue his dream, the majors. He may end up in Chicago. Or the road may end in Wichita, Midland or Burlington. But he can always say he once spent the summer in Geneva.