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New York experience helped Nathan grow

Opportunity to develop at Stony Brook University was key for Tigers righty

Joe Nathan, RHP, Tigers
Hometown: Pine Bush, N.Y.

Taking the mound at Citi Field in the 2013 All-Star Game was extra special for Joe Nathan, even though the closer had been an All-Star five times before that.

Nathan, who picked up the save in the 84th Midsummer Classic, grew up a Mets fan in Pine Bush, 85 miles north of the ballpark. Though he wasn't a standout prospect while at Pine Bush High School, things worked out well for the big right-hander, who eventually went to Stony Brook University on Long Island.

"Stony Brook was a perfect fit for me, because it's a great school, which is what I was looking for," Nathan told the New York Daily News. "As a high school player, I definitely wasn't good. I wasn't highly touted, so it gave me an opportunity to grow as a person and as a player."

In 2008, Nathan gave his alma mater's athletic department a $500,000 gift toward the construction of a new baseball field. It was named Joe Nathan Field in his honor.

Manny Randhawa is an associate reporter for
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