Friends praise World Series winner from HVPosted: Updated:
One of the stars of the World Series-winning San Francisco Giants is gaining praise from his friends and mentors here in the Hudson Valley.
Giants second baseman Joe Panik was born in Yonkers and grew up in Mohegan Lake and Hopewell Junction.
John Jay High School baseball coach Tom O'Hare started coaching Panik when the player was in seventh grade in Hopewell Junction. O'Hare says Panik was so good that O'Hare put him on the varsity high school team in the eighth grade, where he continued until he graduated in 2008.
O'Hare says everyone at John Jay and all of Dutchess County cheered Panik on during the rookie's first appearance in the World Series. He says they can't stop talking about his diving defensive play in Game 7.
O'Hare hopes Panik's success will be an inspiration to everyone in the school district.
The entire community plans to hold a big celebration for Panik when he comes back to town.