Long before we met in person, I was introduced to Regina Red Sox legend Andy Logan.
While growing up in the Queen City, I routinely heard his good name on radio or television sportscasts, or read about him in the Leader-Post.
Consider this excerpt from the Sept. 6, 1972 edition of my favourite newspaper.
“Logan connected for what many consider to be the hardest-hit ball ever in Mount Pleasant, as he sent a Terry Buck offering winging on to the Regina Rams’ practice field, some 500 feet from home plate,” wrote Mal Isaac, who covered a Southern Baseball League playoff game between the Red Sox and Swift Current.
Or, how about this one from Oct. 8, 1981?
“Andy Logan of the Regina Red Sox pulled off an unusual feat by being named to the first all-star team as a catcher and the second team as a first baseman,” read a portion of an L-P story about the Saskatchewan Major Baseball League’s award winners.
By then, Logan — a fixture with the national team — had already played for Canada at the 1971 Amateur World Series, the 1973 Intercontinental Cup and the 1979 Pan American Games.
He was a key member of the Red Sox lineup through until 1984 — his 19th season with the team — while winning batting championships, home-run titles and most-valuable-player honours.
We met in person a few years later, early in my tenure with the L-P. I must admit to feeling rather nervous, simply because he was (and still is) Regina sporting royalty in my appraisal.
Without fail, he was generous with his time and insights. By then, he was a coach, but he still looked very much like someone who could send a baseball into the stratosphere.
These reflections, and others, are prompted by the news that Logan died on April 14 at age 72. He had been battling medical issues in recent years.
“It’s really sad,” said Richard Gergley, who was a fellow Red Sox rookie with Logan in 1966. “He was a loyal friend, through thick or thin.”
Gergley and Logan were introduced when they were in Grade 12 at Central Collegiate. Their baseball coach: Ron Lancaster.
Like Lancaster, Logan would become an important figure in Regina sporting history, starring for Red Sox teams that included the likes of Gergley, Doug Simon, Randy Sawa, Larry Bachiu, Jerry Zrymiak, Jim Paisley, Bill Bell and Ross Mahoney.
As it was written in Logan’s obituary: “It has been said that he didn’t hit a baseball, he attacked it.”
The same mindset applied to life as a parent and a grandparent. A devoted father to Tim and Shelli, he also cherished time spent with their children — Desiree, Brandon, Keydon and Averi.
A celebration of Logan’s life will be held, likely at Currie Field, when COVID relents and circumstances allow for such a gathering.
It will assuredly be a reunion of a who’s who of baseball in Saskatchewan, considering the enduring impact he made on the sport he loved and on those who played with and against him.
“He was definitely a hard-nosed player,” Tim Logan said of his father, “and gave it his all to win.”
Along the way, he won over a legion of admirers — such as yours truly, who will always consider it an honour to have known Andy Logan.
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