It’s only Tuesday, still with some 80 hours til the weekend starts. So, here’s a sweet little story to help get you through.
You know Nathan Patterson? Probably not.
A pretty nice kid, fresh-faced, 23 years old, Kansas City native, been working in Nashville selling software.
Always loved baseball though, played infield on his high school JV team, but gave up the game after fracturing his elbow and taking too long to heal.
Last summer at a minor league Nashville Sounds game as a lark with friends he threw some in a speed-pitch game. Hadn’t thrown a ball in years. Radar clocked his pitch at 90 miles an hour. “It just blew my mind, honestly,” Patterson recalls.
He thought the speed was hyped so he’d buy more tickets. Which he did. Thwack! 96 miles an hour.
Hmm, Nathan thought, what if I did some training? And chased this crazy dream?
So, he did. Got a trainer. Worked on his fastball. Developed a slider that came in around the mid-80-mile an hour range.
Patterson’s plans got messed up a bit during the winter. A car hit him and he needed surgery on his non-throwing left wrist. But he kept at it, joined an amateur team for practice.
Then, last month he went to a Colorado Rockies game. Oh, look! Another speed-pitching booth!
Oh, look again! Another 96 mile an hour fastball. This time on video, which went kind of viral. Guy comes put of the stands to throw 96 mph.
A pitching scout saw the video. Suddenly, Patterson gets a call from the Oakland A’s organization. Two weeks later, he signs a minor-league entry level contract. Gets assigned to an A’s farm team in Arizona.
The other night he gets the call. It “was incredible and truly a blessing as I made my first professional outing.”
I’m not gonna lie, the nerves were flowing until I threw strike one. After that, I took a big deep breathe and realized all the hard work over the last year had prepared me for this moment.
Nathan proceeded to throw a lot of strikes.
In fact, the kid struck out every batter he faced, the entire side of that one inning.
“It could not have gone any better,” he said online. “And I cannot thank my family, friends, teammates, and coaches enough for the love and support.”
Next? Well, who knows? But Nathan finds this adventure all very exciting:
I still have a long ways to go and I love that aspect of this journey. It takes discipline, focus and consistency day in and day out to be able to compete in professional baseball.
I wake up everyday excited to get better and push myself beyond my own expectations.
We now return to your regularly-scheduled programming of carping, kvetching and campaigning.