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Local talent have eyes on making Cubs roster

Their roots are neighborhood. Their activities have made them worldly.

Amid the veteran nonroster invitees to Chicago Cubs spring schooling are 4 gamers from the Chicago location looking for an option to hook on with the hometown workforce, two of them for the second time.

A few of these gamers have a mixed 623 important-league game titles while the other is nevertheless waiting around to split into the major time.

Right here are their tales.

Indigenous North Sider:

Reduction pitcher George Kontos lived near the Chicago intersection of Foster and Kedzie as a child right before shifting to Lincolnwood and attending Niles West Superior College.

He idolized Cubs pitchers Kerry Wooden and Mark Prior and was in the stands when Sammy Sosa hit household operates 61 and 62 in 1998.

“Escalating up a Cubs supporter, I went to probably 100 game titles at Wrigley right up until I went to college or university,” Kontos said. “I played college or university ball proper down the road at Northwestern. I’ve been a Chicago male as a result of and as a result of right up until I acquired drafted.

“I have a lot of reminiscences from currently being at Wrigley and currently being a Cubs supporter increasing up so this is absolutely some thing I’ve appeared forward to for a prolonged time.”

Kontos, 33, has appeared in 350 major-league game titles with the Yankees, Giants, Pirates and Indians. Previous yr he went 2-3 with a 4.39 Period, earning stops with the Pirates, Indians and Yankees. For his vocation, he has a tidy WHIP of 1.15.

“I pitch a very little little bit previous school,” he said: “When your identify is referred to as, you just take the ball and you depart it all on the mound and you give it what you have that day. I am looking for the option to arrive in below and get again to exactly where I’ve been in my previous. Previous yr was a very little little bit of an up-and-down, rough, yr for me, nothing at all bodily incorrect but just type of a very little little bit of mechanical things that I was dealing with and making an attempt to create and do items that I didn’t normally do in my previous.”

Kontos’ father was born in Greece, and in 2001, George represented Greece in the Pan-European baseball match in Thessaloniki, Greece.

“Greek was my initially language, he said. “My father arrived to the States when he was 9, and as he was increasing up, he had a lot of pals and acquaintances that owned dining establishments. So he went into the restaurant-source business. He was starting up the business when I was very younger. He and my mother labored alongside one another.

“My grandparents just basically little one-sat me and took treatment of me all day when my parents arrived household from perform. At that time, they only spoke Greek. I went to kindergarten or Montessori school, and I spoke zero English. They ended up calling my mother, ‘What does this imply? What does that imply?’ I are unable to get this child to speak English.’ Two months later, it was all excellent.”

Back again older and wiser:

Outfielder Jim Adduci was in Cubs camp in 2010 as a prospect.

Given that then, he has logged 149 game titles, with the Rangers and Tigers. He acquired into 59 game titles with the Tigers previous yr, likely .267/.290/.386 with 3 homers and 21 RBI. For his vocation, he has a line of .235/.286/.340 with 5 homers and 39 RBI.

“Content to be again below,” he said. “I just want to be a part of this profitable below. That’s the entertaining of competitors. That’s the part of currently being part of an corporation. As prolonged as you have acquired a jersey on at any amount, you have acquired a opportunity to assistance out at the major-league amount. I’ve been fortuitous sufficient for the previous pair of a long time to do that.”

Adduci, 33, was born in Vancouver when his father, Jim, was actively playing in the Brewers corporation. The young Adduci is a graduate of Evergreen Park Superior College in the south suburbs.

He played the 2015-16 seasons for the Lotte Giants in Korea.

“It’s been a journey,” he said. “When I was in Korea, it elevated my activity. It elevated my mentality. It was odd that it took me there. But I am thankful I acquired an option to go around there and engage in.

“I believe it gave me additional of an appreciation of guys who arrive below whether they are from Latin The usa, Asia, wherever. It’s not an quick detail to do. To culturally modify, to find out a various language, to just communicate in standard, to go get meals, just very simple items. When I went around there, I made positive that I was open up, out each individual day to the manager, the staff. I tried to find out the proper thank-yous and all that. It assisted me as a participant and as a man or woman to understand that you can find additional to the world.”

A Sox supporter with the Cubs:

Reduction pitcher Rob Scahill has under no circumstances made any secret that he grew up a White Sox supporter.

So he absolutely listened to about it when he signed with the Cubs.

“Yeah, I acquired a lot additional response when I signed with the Cubs than I did with the White Sox from my loved ones,” he said.

Scahill, 32, is making an attempt to develop into a native of the Chicago location (Willowbrook Superior College) to engage in for both equally Chicago teams. He appeared in 6 game titles for the Sox previous yr, likely – with a 5.40 Period.

For his vocation, with the Sox, Rockies, Pirates and Brewers, he is 5-7 with a 3.85 Period and a 1.44 WHIP.

“This is a excellent option,” he said. “They’re competing for a World Collection. Previous yr with the White Sox, I felt that was a excellent option out of spring schooling. But I didn’t get the option that I would have preferred. Hopefully below, I can assistance this workforce acquire a World Collection yet again.”

Scahill said his strength is trying to keep the ball on the ground. He said he’s looking forward to earning it on both equally sides of town.

“That’s amazing,” he said. “Not a lot of people get to say that. That’s some thing which is absolutely not missing on me in my vocation. It’s been a journey. I am looking forward to what this subsequent chapter provides.”

Court of second possibilities:

Infielder Ryan Court was hoping to make it with the Cubs previous time, but it didn’t take place.

The now 30-yr-previous native of Elgin and graduate of Dundee-Crown Superior College acquired off to a slow get started at Class AAA Iowa, and the contact under no circumstances arrived.

“Of training course it was disappointing, but I learned from it,” he said. “That was a major detail. I had under no circumstances absent as a result of anything like that as far as a slump goes, and acquiring out of it was very demanding. But I was ready to turn all around my time in some way and have it be considerably of a respectable yr. I believe likely forward I know how to deal with predicaments like that.”

It’s not frequently that nonroster gamers arrive again to a workforce for a second yr if they don’t make the major club, but Court said he was grateful that the Cubs stuck with him through his struggles at Iowa.

There is also the allure of actively playing for his hometown workforce.

“I actually desired to arrive again to this corporation,” he said. “Escalating up in Chicago, I loved the Cubs. But most importantly, I appreciate how they run items all around below, the corporation. The interaction is very very clear, what they hope out of you, what they believe about you as a participant. It’s a fantastic workforce. It’s a World Collection-caliber workforce, and if you can find any way I can assistance contribute to a World Collection, which is what I want to be a part of.”


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