It makes sense that an unheralded fan’s 96 mph fastball could be used as a convincing sales pitch to the organization that introduced “Moneyball” into the baseball lexicon.
The Oakland Athletics signed Nathan Patterson to a minor-league contract Thursday after he hit 96 mph during a fan challenge at Coors Field in Denver last month. It wasn’t the first time the Athletics got a sampling of his major-league velocity — Patterson also impressed while pitching during a fan event at the Athletics’ triple-A affiliate in Nashville last year.
After signing with the Athletics, the 23-year-old thanked the team for the opportunity to play professional baseball.
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“How can you not be romantic about baseball” -Billy Beane Words cannot describe this feeling and I cannot thank everyone enough who has been part of this journey so far! My family has given me nothing but constant love and support throughout the last 9 months as I pursue a dream of mine that I’ve had since I was a little kid. It’s been a roller coaster to get here with many challenges and overcoming adversity. I’m grateful for all the trainers, coaches, friends, @rsrbaseball and everyone else who has supported me thus far! And for those who tell you that you can’t achieve your dreams, use that as fuel to work even harder. Because those people are the ones that settle. I’m grateful for the @athletics organization for giving me this opportunity! This story is not over. It is not the beginning. I am writing the next chapters and excited for this journey! Time to focus even more, work even harder, and it all starts with your mindset. Go after your dreams and make them a reality!
“How can you not be romantic about baseball” -Billy Beane— Nathan Patterson (@npatterson_12) August 1, 2019
Words cannot describe this feeling and I cannot thank everyone enough who has been part of this journey so far! pic.twitter.com/E4eSMUDmU5
Still, it’s not like Patterson just showed up to the ballpark and decided to throw 96 mph fastballs as some sort of instant baseball wunderkind. He’s been working at his craft for years.
2019 Draft Eligable— Nathan Patterson (@npatterson_12) January 20, 2019
Cast comes off in 2 weeks and will start getting the upper body back in shape. You can count on upper 90’s very soon. Any feedback is appreciated!@FlatgroundApp pic.twitter.com/FWxq2rQuE7
With the faith of the Athletics behind him, it’ll be interesting to see what comes next for Patterson. Making it as a 23-year-old rookie in the minors is no easy task, but Patterson has beaten the odds so far.