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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Jokin’ with Joe

On a cold and breezy day in February, the Texas A&M baseball team is practicing with anticipation of the 2010 season.
Late in an inter-squad scrimmage, the maroon-shirted team has a runner on base, and the coaches are calling for a pinch runner.
Out of the dugout trots senior designated hitter Joe Patterson, who at 6-feet tall and 215 pounds is one of the slowest players on the team.
The few fans watching and the players in the dugout let out a bit of laughter as the coaches send Patterson back to the dugout for a different runner.
Jokes like his pinch-running stunt are the norm for Patterson, once labeled the “funny guy” of the team.
“I try to keep everyone loose every once in awhile,” Patterson said. “But once the game starts I kind of limit that stuff.”
As many jokes as Patterson might pull, other players pull just as many on him. Patterson said other guys on the team are always aiming to get back at him for stuff he pulled on them.
“I have a cup of water taped to the inside of my locker daily,” he said. “When I open it, all the water will fall out all over me.”
Perhaps the daily locker shower has been a lucky charm for Patterson, who batted .386 with 12 home runs in 2009.
But the Tulsa, Okla.-native said he does not have any specific superstitions. He said he has a routine of swinging a sledge hammer, cleaning the plate off and taking a practice swing before he’s ready for the first pitch.
“It’s good to have some people on the team who can just cut up and have fun,” Patterson said. “When it’s game time, it’s time to get serious—for the most part. You’ve got to know when to have fun and when to get serious.”
Standing at the plate on game day is no laughing matter for the heavy-hitter.
Patterson’s .567 batting average and .800 slugging percentage have helped the Aggies to a 6-2 record.
“It’s easy when you’ve got a guy like Joe Patterson,” A&M Head Coach Rob Childress said. “If we’re facing Joe Patterson, we’re going to pitch around him more often than not.”
The 22-year-old Patterson starts as the designated hitter in most games, contrasting professional designated hitters, which are typically in their final years of playing and rarely play field positions.
His speed on the base paths is a little more consistent with the pro designated hitters as he typically finishes near the bottom of the team in stolen bases. He has a career-high two stolen bases this season.
“I wasn’t built with speed,” Patterson laughed.
Patterson is at the third strop in his career, playing his freshman season at Oral Roberts and his sophomore season at Seminole State, both in Oklahoma.
At Seminole State he was named the National Junior College Player of the Year and was a first-team All-American selection at catcher after hitting .428 with 28 home runs and 95 RBIs.
Patterson and the Aggies will start a three-game series against undefeated Winthrop on Friday at Olsen Field. Winthrop is the first of two home weekend series A&M has before starting conference play against Texas Tech on March 19.

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