George Nicholas Kontos
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 3", Weight 215 lb.
- School Northwestern University
- High School Niles West High School
- Debut September 10, 2011
- Final Game August 13, 2018
- Born June 12, 1985 in Lincolnwood, IL, USA
George Kontos was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 5th round of the 2006 amateur draft. He was signed by scout Steve Lemke and made his pro debut that summer. He was picked by the San Diego Padres in the 2010 Rule V Draft but did not make the team out of spring training and was returned to the Yankees. He made his major league debut with the Yankees late in the 2011 season, pitching 7 times with an ERA of 3.00 in 6 innings as a September call-up.
George's big break came in early 2012, when the Yankees were looking for an experienced catcher to back up Russell Martin and acquired Chris Stewart from the San Francisco Giants, sending Kontos in return on April 4th. He pitched 23 times for the Fresno Grizzlies, putting up a sparkling ERA of 1.71 in 31 2/3 innings to earn a look in the Show on June 10th. He pitched well for the Giants, staying with the team for the remainder of the year, making 44 appearances with a record of 2-1, 2.47 and 44 strikeouts in 43 2/3 innings. He made four scoreless appearances, totaling 3 2/3 innings, as the Giants defeated the Cincinnati Reds in 5 games in the NLDS. He wasn't as good in the next two rounds, giving up 2 runs in an inning and a third to the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS, and then two more runs in only a third of an inning in his only appearance against the Detroit Tigers in Game 1 of the 2012 World Series. Still, he won a World Championship ring as the Giants swept the Bengals in four games.
Kontos was back in the Giants' bullpen at the start of 2013, but he was not as sharp as in his rookie season. After 31 games, he had a record of 2-1, but had given up 19 runs on 32 hits and 11 walks in 29 2/3 innings, good for a 5.76 ERA. On June 12th, he was handed a three-game suspension by Major League Baseball for throwing at the Pittsburgh Pirates' Andrew McCutchen in an 8-2 loss the previous day, with manager Bruce Bochy also receiving a one-game suspension; and as bad things come in pairs, he was also sent down to the minor leagues that day, a result of his poor results on the mound. On September 20th, he gave up a grand slam to Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees, breaking a 1-1 tie and giving San Francisco a 5-1 loss; it was the 24th grand slam of A-Rod's career, breaking a tie with Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig for the all-time lead in the category.
In 2017, pitching for the Pittsburgh Pirates, it took him until the penultimate day of the season, on September 30th, to earn his first win. It came against the Washington Nationals when the Pirates score 4 runs in the 9th inning to escape with a 4-1 victory.
- Won two World Series with the San Francisco Giants in 2012 and 2014 (he did not play in the 2014 World Series)