World Series Pitcher, Niles West Alum Gears Up For Glenview Visit
San Francisco Giants' pitcher George Kontos talks about everything from what it's like staying at his parents' house in the off season to teaching young kids how to pitch. The Niles West High School Alum came home after winning the 2012 World Series.
It must be good to be George Kontos. The 27-year-old pitcher recently won a World Series with the San Francisco Giants.
"It's definitely been enjoyable after winning [the World Series]," Kontos told Patch. "Everyone has been giving me a lot of congrats, but my goals haven't changed; I'm still training with the same mentality and I think I've proven myself enough to be a lock for the opening day roster."
The Lincolnwood native has been humbly staying at his parent's house since Nov. 15, but that might change come next year.
"It's been a little bit difficult. I was on my own and had my own space [in San Francisco]," Kontos said. "To really not have your own space again is a little challenging. I think this is going to be the last offseason I stay with my family."
Since wrapping up a World Series win with his team, Kontos has been training, relaxing and recently saw a doctor to receive Lasik eye surgery.
"It was very, very easy. A lot easier than I thought," Kontos said about the surgery. "It was only like 27 seconds per eye, which was a lot faster than I thought."
Weighing 215-pounds and standing at 6-foot-3, Kontos is looking to give back to the community. The San Francisco Giants' pitcher and World Series champ is scheduled to visit Glenview's Strike Zone to teach a pitching clinic through January.
"Growing up in high school and college, I've always done the camps," Kontos said. "I've always enjoyed working with the little kids.
"It's nice to give back," he added.
His advice to young pitchers: "Throw strikes. That is the most important thing. And locate your pitches," Kontos said. "You're shocked really quickly on how much velocity doesn't matter without location. To any young pitcher coming up, I would just worry about throwing the ball to the glove."
Pitching clinic -
Kontos will teach two pitching clinics for athletes ages 10 to 14.
Stike Zone has two clinics for the age group. Session 1 will take place Tuesdays, Jan. 8 to 29 from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Session 2 will take place Fridays, Jan. 11 to Feb. 1 from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. Both sessions cost $385 each.
“George is a great role model for our players. He’s an athlete from the area who has achieved great things due to excellent training and a strong work ethic,” Strike Zone President John Fix said.
Stan Golovchuk contributed to this story