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Saturday, August 03, 2019

Fan who threw 96 mph at in-stadium radar booth signs contract with A’s

Baseball fan Nathan Patterson lit up the speed-pitch radar booth at Coors Field a few weeks ago while attending a game with his brother.

Now, he has signed a contract with a Major League Baseball team.

Patterson casually threw a 96-mph fastball at a Colorado Rockies game July 15, and on Thursday, the Oakland A’s made his dream come true as the 23-year-old signed a contract with the club.

The backstory makes Patterson’s journey even more epic.

He played high school baseball but never pursued it in college, but he started taking baseball seriously again last August. He originally caught the A’s attention at a Nashville Sounds game (the team’s Triple-A affiliate at the time) when he threw 96 mph there as well.

Patterson told MLB.com he hadn’t thrown “for a few years” before last August, and noted of his high school playing days, “I didn’t really have a good arm then.”

But he didn’t win the baseball helmet, because his prediction was “98”.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 03, 2019 at 07:02 AM | 28 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: nathan patterson

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   1. Captain Supporter Posted: August 03, 2019 at 09:08 AM (#5867955)
Sounds like a Bill Veeck type publicity stunt. Or maybe Billy Beane is channeling Charley Finley. But its a heck of a lot better than signing Tim Tebow.
   2. Cowboy Popup Posted: August 03, 2019 at 10:58 AM (#5867958)
A 23 year old who can throw 96 without any meaningful training and has no wear and tear on his arm sounds well worth the 25k or whatever they are throwing at him.
   3. Howie Menckel Posted: August 03, 2019 at 02:05 PM (#5867988)
its a heck of a lot better than signing Tim Tebow.

the degree to which people lost their mind over that signing - and continue to do so - was well worth the investment. kudos to the Mets for providing us such entertainment.
   4. Adam Starblind Posted: August 03, 2019 at 02:05 PM (#5867989)
Sounds like a Bill Veeck type publicity stunt. Or maybe Billy Beane is channeling Charley Finley. But its a heck of a lot better than signing Tim Tebow.


I am confident Tebow has been a more successful publicity stunt than Patterson here will be.
   5. TVerik - Dr. Velocity Posted: August 04, 2019 at 01:59 AM (#5868158)
kudos to the Mets for providing us such entertainment.


You can kinda say this like twice a year for my adult lifetime (requiring further explanation, not wins and losses).
   6. Tim M Posted: August 04, 2019 at 02:36 PM (#5868184)
I once lit up one of those guns to the tune of 73, and everyone ooohed and ahhhed. Glory Days..
   7. Adam Starblind Posted: August 04, 2019 at 06:18 PM (#5868225)
Deep into middle age, I lit up the gun to the tune of 67 at a kid's birthday party -- fully 7 mph faster than the best 9-year-old at the party.
   8. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: August 04, 2019 at 08:52 PM (#5868246)
The chances this guy makes it to AA are remote, but even so it's worth the lottery ticket. And it's a great story. And stranger things have happened, like when that high school coach who'd washed out of A ball making the majors with the Rays a decade later after throwing 98.
   9. Adam Starblind Posted: August 04, 2019 at 09:12 PM (#5868250)
Right, Dennis Quaid.
   10. SoSH U at work Posted: August 04, 2019 at 09:20 PM (#5868252)
Jim (The Jim) Morris
   11. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 04, 2019 at 10:44 PM (#5868277)
The Pirates signed two cricket players! I remember Posnanski wrote a story once about how Allard Baird was so desperate he brought in some adult fast pitch softball players in for a look.
   12. CFBF's Overflowing Pathos Posted: August 04, 2019 at 11:23 PM (#5868284)
As I recall that Posnanski story, everyone oohed and awed at the softball pitchers, and eventually Baird just quietly pointed out "It's a balk. Every pitch is a balk."
   13. bunyon Posted: August 04, 2019 at 11:35 PM (#5868288)
In light of 12, I’m imagining the game operator standing there while the gm signs him muttering to himself, “he knows it’s rigged, right?”

But, yeah, if he get close to that he’s worth a flyer. Is there a limit to how many guys you can sign? A team desperate for pitching should hold an annual contest and give a contract to anyone who legit touches 95.
   14. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: August 05, 2019 at 08:28 AM (#5868301)
Signing guys like this (who likely got a bonus of spare change and a ticket to Arizona) is fine by me. I don’t like when they get opportunities on full season rosters even after demonstrating that they aren’t the caliber of player. Additionally, I’m a lot more optimistic that pitchers can come out of nowhere than can hitters.

(And, regarding Tebow - who this story is not about - he has both exceeded my expectations for him on the field (I am impressed!), succeeded as a box office attraction, and I am still not happy that he’s in AAA - he has no business being there.
   15. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: August 05, 2019 at 09:09 AM (#5868305)
Tebow was actually just about worth a roster spot last year as a player- OPS of .734. That's really impressive. He got hurt at the end of the year, though, and so probably missed his one shot at a cup of coffee. Still, he's brought a ton of people out to minor league games so I have to admit that I was wrong about him.
   16. Rally Posted: August 05, 2019 at 09:16 AM (#5868308)
Jim (The Jim) Morris


Disney made a movie about him. They should have made "The Rookie part 2".

Here's how it goes:

Jim Morris promoted to big leagues. Show a few clips from that movie. Cut to a career minor leaguer in the Tampa Bay organization who is put on waivers because the team needed a 40 man roster spot for Morris. That pitcher catches on with another team, sticks with the game. 3 years later at age 30, he finally gets called up to the big leagues. Somehow he is tremendously successful. The season ends with him pitching the 6th and 7th innings of game 7 of the world series, not allowing a run. His team wins it and they celebrate as world champions for a team that was owned by the same company that made the Jim Morris movie.

It's the true story of Brendan Donnelly.
   17. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: August 05, 2019 at 09:29 AM (#5868312)
It's the true story of Brendan Donnelly.

And since it'll be a Disney movie, they'll conveniently whitewash away his scabbing during 1995 spring training, his pine tar suspension, and the circumstances that led to him being named in the Mitchell Report!
   18. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: August 05, 2019 at 10:16 AM (#5868328)
Tebow appears to have been exceptionally luck last year in terms of BABIP and unlucky this year.
   19. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: August 05, 2019 at 11:09 AM (#5868354)
I think the difference between this kid and Tebow is he is a lot younger and has a major league skill. Tebow was better than most people could imagine, but he was never close to even a fringe MLBer at anything. But if you can throw mid-90's without having even worked with a college coach much less a pro team, you have a shot. Obviously the speed gun doesn't tell us if he has any control or secondary stuff or movement. He's still a long shot, but good luck to him. Any word yet where they're going to start him?
   20. Booey Posted: August 05, 2019 at 11:54 AM (#5868392)
Any word yet where they're going to start him?


My guess is pitcher. Sticking him out in CF or behind the plate would be weird. ;-)
   21. My name is RMc and I feel extremely affected Posted: August 05, 2019 at 08:06 PM (#5868577)
Tebow was better than most people could imagine, but he was never close to even a fringe MLBer at anything.

On a 0-10 scale, where 0 is Shaq Thompson and 10 is Mike Trout, with 7 being a legit major-leaguer, Tebow went from about a 1.5 to a 5.5 in two years. That's impressive. But, it's safe to say he's done as a baseball player now, and it's time for him to move onto new opportunities in media/public service/politics.
   22. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 06, 2019 at 09:05 AM (#5868669)

You can kinda say this like twice a year for my adult lifetime (requiring further explanation, not wins and losses).
Is one of them Bobby Bonilla Day?
   23. SoSH U at work Posted: August 19, 2019 at 12:28 AM (#5872454)
Patterson made his debut in rookie league ball: 1 Inning pitched, 3 Batters Faced, 0 Runs, 3 Ks.

   24. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: August 19, 2019 at 01:53 AM (#5872462)
And 9 pitches.

So, yeah, an immaculate inning in his pro debut.
   25. Bote Man Posted: August 19, 2019 at 01:59 AM (#5872464)
When do they announce that he needs Tommy John surgery???
   26. spycake Posted: August 19, 2019 at 08:38 AM (#5872476)
And 9 pitches.

So, yeah, an immaculate inning in his pro debut.


I don't think so. There are no accurate pitch counts reported for Rookie League ball. I think stringers just record the outcome of each PA rather than each pitch at that level, and the system then assigns the minimum pitch count for the PA result. So every K shows up as a 3 pitch PA, every walk is 4 pitches, and every ball in play is just 1 pitch.
   27. Rally Posted: August 19, 2019 at 09:03 AM (#5872483)
So, yeah, an immaculate inning in his pro debut.


Turns out Nathan Patterson is really Steve Nebraska in disguise!
   28. Rally Posted: August 19, 2019 at 09:08 AM (#5872484)
His minor league teammates include a guy named Giovanni Dingcong. A 6'3 245 pound first baseman. Rhymes with King Cong, but he hits dingers!

Well, if he could hit. Only batting .157 as a 24 year old in rookie ball. Sad to see a great name that likely won't be in pro ball next spring.

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