Fan who threw 96 mph in radar gun booth shines in Athletics minor league debut

Cassandra Negley
An Oakland Athletics logo is seen on Khris Davis' uniform sleeve before a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Nathan Patterson, the fan from the radar gun booth, made his professional debut in the Oakland Athletics organization. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Nathan Patterson’s dream year continued in his debut for the Oakland Athletics organization last week.

Patterson, the fan who was signed after hitting 96 mph in a stadium radar gun booth, made his first appearance with the A’s in the Rookie-level Arizona League.

He struck out all three batters he faced.

It took 18 pitches, but he got each batter swinging to start the game. Patterson, a 6-1, 185-pound right-hander, wrote on Instagram his first professional outing “could not have gone any better.”

The 23-year-old Patterson made headlines when he threw 90-plus mph pitches in a radar gun booth at a Colorado Rockies game. The A’s, who had seen his previous viral-worthy radar-gun throws last year, signed him to a minor league contract.

He clarified earlier in the week that while the last time he played organized baseball was indeed in high school, it was on the JV team his junior year as a middle infielder, per the San Francisco Chronicle. The summer before his senior year, he blew out his elbow. He went on to community college and building a landscaping business.

Now five years later, he’s gone from JV to radar gun booth to minor leagues.

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