Fan who scored Oakland A's contract with viral 96-mph pitch makes professional debut
The baseball fan who landed a contract with the Oakland A’s after his 96-mph pitch at a speed-pitch radar booth at Coors Field went viral brought the heat in his professional debut.
Nathan Patterson, 23, took the mound Thursday for the first time as a minor leaguer and whiffed all three batters he faced, USA Today reported Sunday.
“I’m not gonna lie, the nerves were flowing until I threw strike one," Patterson said on Instagram the next day. “After that, I took a big deep breathe (sic) and realized all the hard work over the last year has prepared me for this moment."
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The A’s took notice of Patterson’s video of his 96-mph pitch at a Colorado Rockies game on July 15. The viral video attracted more than 700,000 views.
In a month's time, Patterson has gone from a software salesman who believed his playing days had ended in high school to major league prospect, according to the Kansas City Star.
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His debut for the Athletics Gold came in the first inning of a game in the rookie-level Arizona League against a Cubs team. His strikeout victims all went down swinging, the Star reported.
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Patterson called his first professional outing "incredible and truly a blessing.”