Rookie of the Year

Oakland Athletics sign random flamethrower who threw 96 mph during a fan contest

August 2, 2019

A couple months removed from getting dumped by first-round draft pick Kyler Murray, the Oakland Athletics have finally stumbled on their romantic rebound. His name? Nathan Patterson. Patterson enjoys long walks on the beach, romantic comedies, and hurling 96-mile-per-hour gas at opposing batters's chins, which coincidentally enough, is exactly how the pair first met. Last year, Patterson caught the A's eye when he was seen throwing smoke at a fan contest during a Nashville Sounds game. Months passed and the memory faded, but then Patterson turned up at yet another fan throw-off at Coors Field a few weeks back, hitting 96 mph on the gun. The Athletics weren't about to let love get away again, so they signed the 23-year-old flamethrower to an actual, real-life baseball contract. We promise we're not making this up.

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According this instant legend, Patterson hadn't thrown "for a few years" before lighting up the radar gun at that fateful Sounds game. Inspired by his ability to still chuck it, however, Patterson began training in earnest ... before being hit by a car and breaking his non-throwing wrist in December. Despite the injury, in February Patterson began talking with the Athletics about a potential contract, but nothing materialized until his batter-torching fastball at the Rockies game went viral last month. A few weeks later, Patterson was officially a member of the Oakland Athletics.

Where Patterson's career goes from here is anybody's guess. Perhaps nowhere, but even a couple of Class-A strikeouts would constitute one hell of an ending to this incredible story. In the meantime, if any of the Moneyball producers are looking for sequel, we think we just found your script.

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