A pitcher's dazzling show at a stadium speed pitch challenge earned him a deal with the A's
Never give up on your dreams. Yes, I know that's a cliche, a trope, something we've all heard forever. But it's true.
Two weeks ago, a pair of brothers tried their luck at the speed pitch challenge at Coors Field, as part of a night out at a Rockies game. One of them, Nathan Patterson, lit up the radar gun with some eye-popping fastballs:
This feat of arm strength came a few months after Patterson turned heads on social media with another showcase of his pitching repertoire ... while his left arm was in a cast.
This is all, uh, rather impressive. 94+ mph? On a fan speed pitch radar booth? That's what we all think we can do, only to feel the crushing disappointment when the gun flashes up a number we'd rather not tell our friends about.
But this story gets better than that.
Here's 23-year-old Nathan Patterson, he of the golden arm seen above, signing a contract with the A's. Yes, really.
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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, 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!
Patterson provided a bit of insight into his story for this piece:
His journey began last August at a Nashville Sounds game (they were the A's Triple-A affiliate at the time). He hit 96 on the radar gun at a speed pitch, which surprised him because he hadn't thrown "for a few years before that."
Inspired by that outing, he began training a couple months later, but was then hit by a car and had surgery on his non-throwing wrist in December (hence the cast mentioned above).
He began talking with the A's in February 2019, kept training, throwing and joined a men's league to stay fresh. Then that trip to the Rockies game came about and, "a few days later the A's gave me a call."
As for Patterson's background, he played competitively up until senior year of high school, but says, "I didn't really have a good arm then."
Chalk this one up to hard work, then.
Congratulations, Nathan! And again, everybody reading this ... don't give up on your dreams, especially if you can pitch like that.
Adrian Garro joined MLB.com in 2016. Throughout his travels, both Bartolo Colon and Vin Scully have placed their hands on his shoulders. Not at the same time, though. That'd be amazing.