Sports Spotlight - West Orange Times & Observer: Jack Patterson

Jack Patterson and his team, the Winter Garden Little League Giants, recently won the AAA championship.

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  • | 12:48 a.m. May 27, 2019
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Ten-year-old Jack Patterson, a member of Winter Garden Little League’s AAA Giants team, knows more about baseball than some adults do. In his main role as the team’s catcher, he helped his team snag a 12-2 AAA championship on Wednesday, May 15. 

Why did you start playing baseball, and how long have you played for?

For two years. It felt like a good sport to learn how to use your body and your arms more, because some sports do that but baseball mainly uses your body and your mind, too.

What’s your favorite part of the game?

Just playing ball and having fun.

Tell me about the AAA Championships your team just won.

It was a good game. We played good. They were acting like they were tired and our pitching was good. They only got like a couple of hits off of us, because when we gave them good pitches to hit they hit it, but a lot of them missed it because we have fast and slow pitchers so it was hard to get their timing down. When we were hitting, one pitcher threw a lot of balls and strikes but a lot of them we hit and a lot of them we didn’t. We stole a lot because the defense wasn’t ready for it, so we had more runs than them.

Do you have a favorite position to play?

I do like playing third and first, so third, first and catcher are my main favorite positions. Catcher I really like because you get to throw people out and you get to watch all the plays.

What’s your favorite pitch to throw?

My two-seamer. It’s sort of like a sinker because it dives when I’m on top of it, and it’s hard to hit because they see it going down the middle, outside or anywhere, and when they swing it would go down and they’d miss it or foul it off.

What are you most looking forward to with baseball this summer?

Getting good rest and getting better, resting my body and then after that I can get back on it. Then I have full energy and I can get better, stronger and faster.

How do you balance school and baseball?

It’s like I have school mode and then baseball mode, so I switch (between) one another. Sometimes it can be hard with all the testing and I get out (of school) sometimes late because of rainstorms, but I can get it done. I can still get baseball practice in and still get my homework down.

Who’s your favorite MLB team?

The Boston Red Sox, because my dad was born in Boston and I’m sort of like a Washington fan, a little, but I mainly like the Red Sox because they have good players and they still have fun, even if they’re losing by one or two runs.

Do you have a favorite MLB player?

Mookie Betts. I like him because he focuses and he can hit well, too. When he hits it’s like he’s doing my swing, sort of, and he can hit very far because he has so much power.

What’s the best advice your coaches have given you?

On hitting, staying back and waiting for it because when you swing early that would roll your hands over and you would lunge for it, and then you would foul it off or have a weak hit. If you sit back and wait for it you’d have much better contact. Even if you hit a ground ball it’d have much more solid contact.

What is the best movie you’ve watched recently?

“Avengers: Endgame.” I like the fighting part, because it’s super cool just seeing everyone fight. It’s sort of like the Civil War, because it’s like a war to end a war.

Do you have a favorite superhero?

Batman, because he’s like camouflaged and when he’s out in the night he’s hard to catch and he’s tricky — like it’s tricky to catch a baseball team when they’re ahead.

What advice would you give new baseball players?

I would usually help them. I’d see how they throw and I would sometimes change it, like help them have more accuracy or if they have accuracy I help them have more velocity.


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