Hollywood loves making movies about undiscovered talents who can throw a fastball at dizzying speeds (The Rookie, Rookie of the Year), and now, thanks to a speed pitch challenge at Coors Field, one rocket-throwing undiscovered 23-year-old has been signed to a contract by the Oakland Athletics.
Roughly two weeks ago, Nathan Patterson and his 23-yeqr-old brother Christian attended a Colorado Rockies game at Coors Field where they tried the speed pitch challenge. Nathan hit the speed gun at 90, 94, 94, and 96 mph. Christian posted the video, and voila!
MLB.com provided some background on Nathan:
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).
MLB pointed out that Nathan spoke with the A’s in February 2019 and joined a men’s league before the Rockies game. He noted that after the video was posted, “a few days later the A’s gave me a call.”
Nathan wrote on Instagram:
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 @athleticsorganization 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!
The film “The Rookie” was based on the real-life story of Jim Morris, who was in his mid-thirties and working as a high school physical education teacher and baseball coach at Reagan County High School in Big Lake Texas when he promised his team he would try out for major league baseball if they won the district championship. They won, he tried out and found that despite several surgeries on his arm, he threw 12 consecutive 98-mph fastballs. He was signed by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at the age of 35, moved up through the minor league system, and made his big-league debut on September 18, 1999, against the Texas Rangers; he made 16 major league appearances.