Last month, baseball fan Nathan Patterson decided to enter a speed pitch challenge at a Colorado Rockies game. His first fastball hit an impressive 90 miles per hour on the radar gun. Then he hit 94. A couple pitches later, he clocked 96 mph. (The average speed of a major league fastball is about 93 mph).
The moment was filmed by his brother, Christian Patterson, who posted the video on Twitter with an appeal: “@MLB Let’s get him signed!”
Well, the Oakland A’s took notice and have signed the 23-year-old to a contract. Patterson posted an Instagram photo of himself signing the contract on Thursday night.
In the post, Patterson quotes A’s executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane: “How can you not be romantic about baseball?” The line was popularized by the 2011 movie “Moneyball,” which chronicled Beane’s efforts as a general manager in 2002 to field a competitive team on a small budget.
CBS San Francisco reported that Patterson first raised eyebrows last year when he hit 96 mph at a stadium pitching booth while throwing at a Nashville Sounds game. But soon after, he was hit by a car and had to undergo surgery on his non-pitching arm.
While rehabbing, Patterson continued to pitch and posted videos of his training on social media. All the work paid off when the A’s called him.
“It’s been a roller coaster to get here with many challenges and overcoming adversity,” he wrote.