Stony Brook Retires Minnesota Twins' Closer Joe Nathan's Number

Dec. 6, 2006

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Stony Brook, N.Y. - Joe Nathan '97, former Stony Brook University baseball great and current All-Star reliever for the Minnesota Twins, was honored by his alma mater before a crowd of 2,701 at the Stony Brook University Arena at halftime of the men's basketball team's game against Hofstra. The event celebrated Nathan's induction into the Stony Brook Athletics Hall of Fame and served as the backdrop for a surprise announcement. Moments after being introduced to the crowd, Nathan became the first former Stony Brook student-athlete to have his number retired.

The halftime proceedings began with Nathan being recognized for his induction into the Hall of Fame earlier that evening at a ceremony held in the Goldstein Family Student-Athlete Development Center. After introducing Nathan to the fans in attendance, Director of Athletics Jim Fiore called on junior pitcher Tom Koehler, who has worn No. 22 for his first three seasons at Stony Brook, to present Nathan with his jersey, stating that from this point forward no other Stony Brook baseball player will ever wear No. 22. With that announcement, Nathan became the first Stony Brook student-athlete to have his jersey retired.

Nathan was joined by his wife Lisa, his son Cole and several members of his family. Also on hand for the event was the current Stony Brook baseball team, many of Nathan's former teammates and baseball alums, University President Shirley Strum Kenny and Chair of the Stony Brook Council, Richard Nasti `78.

The halftime event was the culmination of an exciting day for Nathan and his family. Upon his return to campus for the first time in nearly a decade, the hard-throwing right-hander began his day with a tour of campus with Fiore and head baseball coach, Matt Senk. In the morning, he also taped a segment with Carl Reuter for The Stony Brook Sports Report that will air next week on Cablevision (Tuesday night) and CSTV (Friday morning). Later in the day, Nathan met with the Stony Brook baseball team and after a short question and answer session, he played soft toss with the team.

Nathan, who was unable to attend the Hall of Fame Class of 2006 induction ceremony back on October 7, received his Hall of Fame plaque during a pre-game ceremony held at the Goldstein Family Student-Athlete Development Center. In addition, he also received the University Medal, the highest honor conferred by the University. One of the highlights of the evening was an offer to Nathan's two-year old son, Cole. Fiore presented Cole with a National Letter of Intent to play baseball for Stony Brook in the year 2022.