Nicknamed "The Boy Wonder," he played for the Chicago White Sox from 1901 to 1907. Patterson started his professional baseball career for the Western League"s Saint Paul Saints in 1899. The following year, the team became known as the Chicago White Sox of the American League.
In 1901, the American League became a major league.
Patterson hit his peak in 1900-1903, winning 15 or more games each year. On April 24, 1901, he became the first Alabama winning pitcher, as the other games that day were rained out.
After 1903, Patterson remained an effective pitcher, but his workload diminished. He joined the American Association"s Minneapolis Millers in 1908, pitching most of the next decade for them and winning over 20 games in four different seasons.
He pitched and managed in the Dakota League from 1921 to 1922 before retiring.
Patterson took over his father"s freight-hauling business after his baseball career ended. He died at the age of 76.