Calgarian J.T. Patterson is a player who gets it.
Okotoks Dawgs head coach Mitch Schmidt, who also coached the corner infielder at Bellevue University this year, has seen a lot from the 6-foot-1, left-handed hitter … and he likes what he’s seen.
“He’s really figured it out and I’m proud of him, I’m very proud of him,” said Schmidt prior to the 2018 Western Major Baseball League (WMBL) season.
“What he’s done over the last year, it wasn’t only off the field, it was on the field, as well. He’s turned into a very good ball player and, as you can see, there’s a lot of players that look up to him. He says a lot of baseball intelligent stuff, a lot of life intelligent stuff that previously he didn’t.”
Patterson, a Dawgs Academy alum, had a stellar junior year at Bellevue, where he hit 16 home runs, belted 57 RBI and scored 49 runs during 56 games for the Bruins of the North Star Athletic Association (NSAA). He also received first-team, all-NSAA and NSAA scholar-athlete honours this year.
Although he has been slowed by injury in Okotoks this summer, Patterson has still put up solid numbers when he’s been in the lineup. In 18 games, he’s batting .300 with 10 RBI and 7 runs.
The Holy Trinity Academy graduate made some time for us recently and answered our “1 Thru 9” questionnaire. Here’s what he told us:
1. What is your walk-up/warm-up tune?
“I Ran” by A Flock of Seagulls
2. What is the best pre-game meal?
My best pre-game meal is usually a Caesar salad.
3. Your family sends you a care package. What’s in it?
My family care packages usually consist of ketchup chips, Coffee Crisps and Canadian snacks that you can’t get in America.
4. What is your favourite stadium to watch or play baseball in?
My favourite stadium to watch baseball in is Coors Field. The stadium itself is gorgeous and Colorado has a great baseball atmosphere.
5. Who has had the biggest influence on you as a baseball player and why?
My brother has the biggest influence on me as a baseball player. Growing up we would always play backyard baseball against each other, so he kind of ingrained that competitive edge in me, and as I got to watch him play when I was younger he demonstrated a great work ethic. I’ve learned a lot from him and to this day he is still one of my biggest role models.
6. Who was the best teammate you’ve ever had and why?
The best teammate I’ve ever had was Cole MacLaren, who to this day is my closest friend. His attitude and presence in a locker room can change the dynamic of a team. Great guy!
Congratulations to catcher Cole MacLaren on being named to the 2018 Johnny Bench Award Watch List
— Pitt Baseball (@Pitt_BASE) March 7, 2018
7. What is the best thing about playing baseball in the WMBL?
The best thing about playing in the WMBL is getting to play in front of my hometown crowd.
8. What is your favourite baseball memory?
My favourite baseball memory is from high school, when we were on a trip home from a series in Fort Mac. Our bus broke down about 15 minutes outside of Edmonton and we were probably stranded there for at least 3 hours.
While waiting for the mechanics our teammate Craig Spencer started the “99 Bottles of Beer On The Wall” count down. It started off slow and as we kept counting down more and more people started singing. Then when we got around sixty we had every guy on the bus singing at the top of our lungs, and finally when we made it all the way down to one and went pretty wild. Turned a pretty bad situation into one of my favourite memories!
9. What is the best piece of baseball advice you’ve ever received?
The best advice I’ve ever gotten would be from my high school coach Allen Cox, who would always tell us to swing hard in case we hit the ball. It’s worked out pretty well I’d say!