A baseball fan was signed by the Oakland Athletics after he took a speed pitch challenge at a Colorado Rockies game and threw a 96 mph fastball.
Nathan Patterson, 23, posted a photo on Instagram and Twitter of himself signing a contract with the A’s.
“Words cannot describe this feeling and I cannot thank everyone enough who has been part of this journey so far!” Patterson wrote.
“It’s been a roller coaster to get here with many challenges and overcoming adversity,” he said.
In an interview for MLB.com, Major League Baseball’s official website, Patterson said that he had not played competitively since high school, but he didn’t have a very good arm at the time.
But last August at a Nashville Sounds game, an A’s minor league affiliate, Patterson stepped into a speed pitch challenge, which allows fans to test the speed of their pitching.
Patterson was clocked at 96 mph, better than even some Major League Baseball pitchers. He told MLB.com that the speed surprised him because he hadn’t thrown for a few years.
So he began training, though hit a minor setback when he was hit by a car and had surgery on his non-throwing arm.
He started talking to the A’s in February. Then at a Colorado Rockies game on July 15, he did it again: he took the pitch speed challenge and threw at 96 mph.
His brother, Christian Patterson, recorded the feat and posted the video on Twitter. “Let’s get him signed!” he wrote.
Two weeks later, he signed a contract with the A’s. Despite his impressive velocity, Nathan Patterson will still have to work his way into the big leagues.
“The stories have been incredible and I hope to inspire others. I have been given an incredible opportunity,” he wrote on Twitter. “Go A’s!”