23-year-old Nathan Patterson thought his dreams of being a professional baseball player were over after he blew out his elbow during the summer before his senior year of high school. After recovering from the injury, Patterson went to college and started a successful landscaping business, leaving the prospect of playing baseball behind him. Or so he thought.
Patterson managed to catch the eyes of some scouts for the Oakland Athletics when he hit 96 MPH on an in-stadium radar gun during a minor league game last summer. He began to train but hit a setback when he injured his wrist in a car accident. Patterson didn't let the injury stop him and continued to work out.
Patterson made headlines in July when he hit 96 MPH again, this time at a Colorado Rockies game. The Athletics signed him a few days later.
"Last night was incredible and truly a blessing as I made my first professional outing," Patterson wrote on Instagram. "I'm not gonna lie, the nerves were flowing until I threw strike one. After that, I took a big deep breathe and realized all the hard work over the last year has prepared me for this moment."