The Chicago Cubs are World Champions for 2016. This is a headline that is not new by any means. Although, it may not be new to the average fan or even the super fan, it is new to a southern Illinois kid who got to be a part of the historic run by the North Siders.
Spencer Patton grew up in Kinmundy, Illinois and went to school at South Central High School. A multi-sport athlete, Patton shined throughout his athletic career, especially on the baseball diamond. Once he graduated high school, Patton chose to play his college ball at Parkland in Champaign before transferring to Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville.
In 2011, Spencer enjoyed one of the finest single-seasons in SIU-E history. He finished with a 9-3 record and a team best 2.55 ERA. The 9 wins is the 3rd most in a single season, as he became just the 4th pitcher in school history with at least 100 strikeouts in a season. His 109 K's is the 2nd most in a single season, averaging 11 per nine innings which is 3rd best all time. He also struck out a career high 12 batters in three consecutive starts.
Patton was then primed and ready to enter the 2011 Major League Baseball draft where he was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the 24th round.
He bounced around those farm systems for awhile where he saw great success before being traded to the Rangers organization in 2014. Patton made his Major League debut with Texas on September 4th, 2014. He was then traded to the Chicago Cubs in November of 2015 and that is where Patton's career fully came alive.
As an Illinois native, Patton used the hometown pride to back his 16 relief appearances in 2016 for the eventual World Champion Cubs that included 22 strikeouts in 21 1/3 innings and a 5.48 ERA.
Patton, although he did not get the call to play during the playoffs, was on the 40-man roster at the time with the Cubs for his first World Series title. He was also a guest on Newstalk WTIM's Coaches Show Saturday morning where he told host, Jake Linder how it felt to be a World Champion.
Patton continues to stay close with his southern Illinois home town community and those values as well as his faith have guided him to believe in one simple adage to live by in his life.