Mather enjoying first spring in Arizona - East Valley Tribune: Ahwatukee Foothills

Mather enjoying first spring in Arizona

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Posted: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 9:37 am | Updated: 12:51 pm, Tue May 1, 2012.

Joe Mather went straight from high school baseball to the pros after being drafted in third round in 2001.

He didn’t take the opportunity to develop his game at the collegiate level so when it comes to school pride all he has to go on is his Mountain Pointe days.

And he clearly hasn’t forgotten.

Now that he has spring training in Arizona as he tries to make the Cubs’ 25-man roster on Opening Day, he had a chance to see Mountain Pointe play a couple of times this season.

“It was early in the year and they were struggling a little, but they will get it going,” Mather said from the Cubs’ clubhouse at HoHoKam Stadium before a recent game in which he hit a three-run home run.

Last year, Mather did more than see them play. He was in town as an Atlanta Brave playing a series against the Diamondbacks when the Pride won the state championship.

He bought the team a suite at Chase Field to show his appreciation.

“It was really neat,” Mather said. “It was definitely a cool opportunity to give back to my school, my only school. I was really excited to see these guys have their hard work pay off and it felt good to be able to help out and celebrate.”

Look for a feature on Mather's fight to make the Cubs roster out of spring training on Friday.

Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or JSkoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.

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