July 22, 1997
Former Cal Pitcher a Success in Major League
ATLANTA - Mike Cather, former California Golden Bear pitcher (1991-93), has become a major success story in the major leagues as a relief pitcher for the best team in professional baseball, the Atlanta Braves.
Cather, 26, began the season at Class AA Greenville but was called up to Atlanta and pitched his first game for the Braves on July 13. Since that time, he has appeared in five games for Atlanta, throwing 6.7 innings in relief with three hits, no runs, six walks and six strikeouts.
1997 has been an outstanding season for Cather. He was 5-2 with a 4.34 ERA in 22 games at Greenville, and then had no decisions and a 1.73 ERA in 13 appearances with Class AAA in Richmond. The side-armer had 51 strikeouts and only 16 walks in 63.3 innings at Greenville and Richmond.
Cather, who returns to the University of California to takes classes during the fall and works as a bartender at a local bar and restaurant--Raleigh's, was a top starting pitcher for the Bears during Cal's NCAA Regional and World Series squads of 1991 and 1992. He threw overhand, not his current sidewinding form, and was Cal's starting pitcher when the Bears faced No. 1 ranked Miami in the opening game of the 1992 College World Series. Cather got a no decision (Cal ended up losing 4-3 in 13 innings), but had an impressive performance against the top-ranked Hurricanes, pitching 8.0 innings with eight hits, two earned runs, three walks and a strikeout. Earlier, he had been the starting pitcher in a crucial 3-2 victory over Georgia Tech (8.7 innings, nine hits, two runs, two walks, two strikeouts) in the East Regional in Gainesville, FL.
Following the 1993 College baseball season, Cather signed with the Texas Rangers and immediately became a sidewinder. Within a couple of years he had got as high as Class AA Tulsa, but the Rangers released him. Alan Regier, a former assistant coach at Cal who was the Bears hitting coach during the '92 College World Series year, had since become a scout for the Braves and knowing what kind of competitor Cather was, signed the former Cal hurler in 1996.
So far it has worked out great for both Mike Cather and the Atlanta Braves.