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Joe Panik, Hopewell Junction Native, Leads San Francisco Giants to World Series

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Is anyone in New York interested in the World Series this year since neither the Yankees nor the Mets made the championship? (Though, let’s be honest — no one really expected that.) Hopewell Junction certainly is excited, because Joe Panik— second baseman for the San Francisco Giants — hails from the small Dutchess County town.

Panik, an alum of John Jay High School (which retired the number he wore while playing for their baseball team), burst into stardom on October 16 when he hit a two-run blast in NLCS game five against the St. Louis Cardinals, helping propel the Giants to the fall classic.

But the 23-year-old rookie had been making headlines before then. In 2011, he was the Giants’ first round draft pick, and 29th overall in the Major Leagues. After spending a few years in the minors, he performed well enough to be called up this June, and finished the regular season with a .305 batting average. In the very first playoff game of his career, he slapped out three hits. And then, of course, later on came the big homer. No wonder his manager Bruce Bochy called him a “savior.”

You can bet our TVs will be tuned in tonight to see the Valley’s hometown hero take on Kansas City. Game starts at 8:07 p.m. on FOX.

joe panik
Joe Panik Photograph courtesy of MLB.com

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