KEIZER, OR (KPTV) – Honing his craft since the age of 11, a lifelong Mariners fan is now a paid employee by the San Francisco Giants’ Single-A affiliate in Keizer.
What was your summer job right out of senior year in high school? Pumping gas? Picking berries? Adventures in babysitting? How about being live on the air behind the mic? That’s the current status of Payne Patchett, the newest and youngest major voice in the minor leagues.
After providing play-by-play broadcasts to 198 high school ball games, this is the kid’s first crack at breaking into the bigs.
“It means that I am living the dream,” Patchett said. “It is something that I wanted to do since middle school.”
212 miles from home, Volcanoes Stadium is where the 18-year-old Lake Stevens High School graduate will live and learn alongside Salem-Keizer’s boys of summer and provide the Volcanoes’ soundtrack to summer on the radio.
“I've got my own place for $435 a month, it’s pretty decent,” Patchett said.
Away from home base for the first time in his life, it’s Payne’s perch behind home plate that made the call to skip on walking for grad night to be at opening night for his pro debut.
“[Mom and dad] were devastated that I was coming down here, but they were absolutely happy that I got the job,” he said.
It’s a beautiful gig for a beautiful mind and a baseball encyclopedia.
“My mind, it definitely stretches out to get all of the information,” Patchett said.
For your info, Patchett himself is in the record books.
“I’ve known a bunch of people who have freaked out over the fact, that, yeah, I am making history but at the end of the day, it’s just a title,” he said. “I am the youngest broadcaster in the history of professional baseball. I just see it as a job, I don’t think too much for it. One thing I am trying to do is not let my ego take over.”
Rule No. 1 for Patchett? Don’t be a homer when Everett rolls into town. The kid spent many nights in the stands rooting for the Aquasox.
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