6/25 Numbers game
Joe Mather switched from No. 16 to No. 21 on Monday, and christened the switch with a home run in the Cubs’ 6-1 win over the Mets. Why the change?
“I had it in high school,” Mather said. “It’s always been a favorite number of mine. I always see the highlight of Roberto Clemente running around and I see the 21 on his back and I always liked that and always wanted myself to look like that. I always liked the number for that reason.”
Clubhouse manager Tom Hellmann approved of the switch. It looked even better with two outs in the Chicago fourth when Geovany Soto walked and Mather followed with his fourth home run, hitting a 1-1 pitch from Johan Santana into the left field bleachers.
“It was a good way to break it in, that’s for sure,” Mather said.
“He got the perfect trajectory,” Dale Sveum said of Mather, who hit the ball into the wind. “You put a little more height on it and the wind would knock it down.”
— Carrie Muskat