With a little time to kill during a rain delay, Nathan Patterson made a decision that changed his life.
The 23-year-old software salesman tried out his arm in a pitching booth, his brother filmed it.
“The first ball he fired reached 90 mph. The next two, 94. On his sixth and final attempt, the screen behind him lit up with an even gaudier number: 96.” — WSJ
It got uploaded, and two days later, went viral.
On the fourth day, he got a call from the Oakland A’s.
Long story short, he signed a minor league contract with the Oakland A’s.
Here’s the kicker– he’s not been playing organized ball in a long time.
A high-school second baseman in Kansas, Patterson’s initial playing days came to an abrupt end when he fractured his elbow during his junior season. After graduation, he ran a landscape business for a while. Growing restless, he typed into Google “coolest places to live when you’re young and single.” That prompted him to move to Austin, Texas, and later Nashville, Tenn., where he forged a successful career in sales for a software company. Baseball was nowhere near his mind.
Everything started changing in August 2018, when he attended a Triple-A game in Nashville and first stepped into a radar gun booth. He threw five pitches, the last one traveling 96 mph. Patterson was stunned.
The cool part about his story is how he got there. It’s got a lot to do with will to win, constant self-improvement, using the tools available to you, and networking.
“I wouldn’t be where I am today without Rob and Flatground,” Patterson said.
“Rob” is Rob Friedman. He’s an attorney by trade living in the Atlanta suburbs. In the baseball world, however, he goes by something else: the Pitching Ninja.
Never say never, dear readers.
The American dream is alive and well.