Tom Mazarakis has been the General Manager for the Greek National Baseball Team as a volunteer since 2005. He is also the Manager for the newly assembled Panathinaikos Baseball Club in Athens.
In the year 2000, a baseball league was created in Greece and Tom has been an active participant with the sport ever since. He continues to champion its merits and values as a sport worthy of support from the sports Ministry in Greece.
Tom was born in Manhattan and grew up in the Bronx. Just as most first generation Greek Americans, his father, Nicholas, loved the game of baseball. He naturally taught his son everything he knew about the game and Tom loved every aspect of the sport.
His father made a career change that took the family to Greece in late 1970 when Tom was still only 15 years old. From 1970 and on, Tom lived in Greece where he led a relatively regular life, but without baseball. He married a nice Greek girl, Penny, and they raised two sons, Nicholas and Emmanuel, who, of course, both learned to love the game of baseball despite the fact that the sport was virtually unknown in Greece.
Jim Essian is the current Manager of the Hellas National Baseball Team.
Jim was signed by the Phillies in 1970 and he played 12 seasons on 5 different MLB teams. After retiring as a player, he started his coaching career during which he worked as a coach for the Cubs for a few years until 1991 when he became the Cubs manager for one season. Today he continues his managing career with an Independent professional Team.
Hellas Baseball is excited to have "Skip" back after managing the team between 2008-2012.
Joseph Vreonis is a current coach of the Hellas National Baseball Team.
He is an American of Greek heritage and his family was originally from the beautiful Greek island of Zakynthos. He has an extensive CV with many years as a player/coach with the National Team in every tournament that Greece participated from 2010 to now. He was both our Pitching Coach and a player who pitched for the team.
Since 2013 he has been the Head Baseball Coach at Liberty High School in Brentwood, California, U.S.A. Earlier in his career, he has also held various Head Coaching positions and Pitching Coach positions at a variety of schools in California where he consistently coached winning teams.
The HABF is proud to have Joseph D. Vreonis on board as a full-time coach.
John Bissylas is a current coach of the Greek National Baseball Team.
John was born in Toronto, Canada to Greek parents from Athens and Sparta. Like Tom at an early age, his parents moved the family to Athens where he attended English-speaking schools including high school at the American Community Schools of Athens like Tom did. In 1970 he played baseball in the ACS league on the same baseball grounds that were coincidentally used for the 2004 Olympics. After returning to Toronto, he continued playing baseball and coached high school and mens baseball for 25 years.
In 1999 while on a visit to Greece, he met Panos Mitsiopoulos the current president of HABF, and contributed to helping get the ball rolling with the National Team by setting up the first meeting between HABF and MLB International in New York the following year.
In 2016, John rounded the bases by becoming a coach for Hellas Baseball.
Rye Pothakos is Head Scout and a current coach for the Hellas National Baseball Team.
He is a Canadian of Greek heritage and his grandparents were from Sparta and Peloponnesus.
Rye played minor and senior baseball in his hometown of Thunder Bay, Ontario in Canada. He has 30 yrs of experience in baseball at the collegiate and professional level in various positions from coach, GM, scout as well as player personnel director for teams such as Thunder Bay Whiskey Jacks (NL), Elmira Pioneers (NEL), Regina Cyclones (PL), and Saskatoon Yellow Jackets (WMBL).
Rye is also a builder of local baseball. He founded the Fall Baseball League in Saskatoon and was President of the local Senior League from 2000-2003 while also coaching provincial baseball teams.
Currently he holds the position of Director of Recruiting for the Regina Red Sox of the Collegiate Western Major Baseball League and is on the Honourable Mention list for Top Infuential Canadians.
Hellas is proud to have Rye on the team who will be instrumental in helping build a winning team over the next few years on their way to gaining entry into Europe's Pool A and vye for a spot in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.