Kottaras, George PDF


Born: May 10, 1983 Scarborough, Ontario (Canada)
Greek-Canadian Major League Baseball catcher for the Milwaukee Brewers

Kottaras was drafted by the San Diego Padres in 20th round of the 2002 Major League Baseball Draft. He signed with the Padres in May 2003 after spending one year at Connors State College in Warner, Oklahoma.

Kottaras began his professional career playing for the Idaho Falls Padres of the Pioneer League, and worked his way up through the Padres minor league system to the Triple-A Portland Beavers in 2006. He played in the 2006 All-Star Futures Game for Team World and was named number 48 in the 2006 Minor League News FAB50 List.

On September 5, 2006, he was traded to the Boston Red Sox to complete a August 31 deal for David Wells and was immediately added to the team's 40-man roster.He was assigned to the Red Sox Double A franchise, thePortland Sea Dogs, who had just begun their Eastern League playoff run. Kottaras arrived for Game 2 of Eastern League Division Playoffs and continued playing with the Sea Dogs until they were crowned 2006 Eastern League Champions.

Kottaras played the entire 2007 season for the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox. He reported for spring training in 2008 but was optioned back to Pawtucket on March 17, 2008.Kottaras played the regular and post season 2008 schedule for Pawtucket, but after Pawtucket was eliminated from the International League playoffs he was called up to Boston.

On September 8, 2008, he was called up from Pawtucket and on September 13, 2008, he made his major league debut in the 6th inning of a game against the Toronto Blue Jays and scored the only run for the Red Sox that game.

In 2009 Kottaras became knuckleball pitcher Tim Wakefield's personal catcher; as Jason Varitek normally catches for the other pitchers in the rotation. After Wakefield went on the disabled list post All-Star Break, Kottaras followed suit with a lower back strain. He remained with Pawtucket until call ups on September 1. With Wakefield's first start in September, Red Sox manager Terry Francona had to decide whether or not to start Kottaras due to his familiarity with Wakefield or Víctor Martínez due to his bat and making one start with Wakefield in which he caught the knuckleball very well for the first time.

Kottaras hit his first major league home run on July 3, 2009, against the Seattle Mariners' Mark Lowe in the bottom of the 11th.

Kottaras was released by the Red Sox on November 18, 2009. He was claimed later in the day by the Milwaukee Brewers.

In 2004 Kottaras played for Greece's national baseball team during the 2004 Summer Olympics. His eligibility came from his parents, both of whom are Greek immigrants to Canada. During the Olympics, Kottaras served as first baseman and backup catcher. As one of the few members of the team that actually spoke Greek, he also served as an interpreter.

On July 21, 2004, Kottaras had three hits helping Greece defeat Italy 11-7 for the team's first and only win in the tournament.

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