Most visits to the radar gun booth end with a hurt ego.
After spending a few innings watching big leaguers effortlessly hurl 90-plus mph, we somehow convince ourselves we can throw pretty dang hard, too. So we shell out a few bucks for the privilege to fire some pitches in front of a radar gun, muster up every ounce of strength we possess, and then top out in the high 60s as we nearly tear our UCL.
But things went a little different for Nathan Patterson. A couple weeks ago, he was attending a game at Coors Field with his family. He decided to test out his velocity at the speed pitch booth, and registered an eye-popping 96 mph:
Shortly thereafter, the Oakland Athletics organization signed him to a contract.
“Words cannot describe this feeling and I cannot thank everyone enough who has been part of this journey so far!” Patterson wrote in the caption to an Instagram post announcing his signing with the Athletics.
“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!”
But there’s more to this story. Patterson played baseball in high school, but didn’t make the jump to college. However, at a minor league baseball game last August, he decided to hit the pitching booth and shocked himself when he lit up the gun with an offering in the mid-90s. Ever since, he’s been training to get a shot at the pros. The Athletics had actually been interested in him for months before finally offering a contract.
And if you’re going to criticize the fact he crow-hopped into his throws, know that the dude throws pretty hard off a rubber, too. Here’s a video of him from February hitting 93 on the gun and showing off a nasty breaking ball:
Congrats to Patterson on getting his shot, now go make the most of it!