SMITH: Logan Pierce got his wake-up call and took advantage of it

Published 10:25 pm Friday, February 28, 2014

By Dan Smith, TPRD Director

Logan Pierce was not the can’t-miss high school baseball phenom, and when he had his locker cleaned out by his head coach in college, he stood at a crossroads of life, forced with choosing which path to take.

He chose wisely.

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This weekend the 2008 graduate of Charles Henderson High and 2013 graduate of Troy University enters his first Major League Baseball spring training in Clearwater, Fla., for the Philadelphia Phillies.

Last June Pierce was selected in the 15th round by Philadelphia, and reported to Rookie League with the Williamsport Crosscutters.

The son of Troy University head baseball coach Bobby Pierce, Logan was never considered the most talented or gifted athlete in high school or college, but anyone that knows Logan will agree no one worked harder.

“My dad always told me, there is always room for improvement,” Logan said before leaving for south Florida. “If you have the determination and work ethic, you will continue to get better. If you had told me I was a 15th rounder when I was in high school, I would have laughed at you, because I wasn’t. I was barely a Division I player.”

After high school Logan went to Shelton State, batting .416 for the state championship team. Logan transferred to Troy in 2010, was red-shirted, and that is when he learned one of the most important lessons of his young life.

“I got real lazy and fell in love with the fact of not going to class and not doing homework,” Pierce said. “My dad got my progress report and cleaned out my locker. The team was going to UAB that day, and teammates were texting me saying they were scared for me, that my dad had gone ballistic.

“I later called my dad and asked what I needed to do. He said, ‘First of all, this is the reason why. Second thing, I want you to sit at home and study. I do not want you to go to the field or weight room for the next month.’ So that’s what I did. I went to class, I studied. I had to make really good grades in those particular classes, and I did. That was a turning point. Not everybody can get a wakeup call. That was more dad taking over more than coach taking over in that moment. I had a new level of appreciation for my dad doing that for me.”

Logan followed that redshirt year with by playing all 62 games as a sophomore, earning the

Louisville Slugger National Hitter of the week once, and as a junior was named First Team All-Sun Belt.

As a senior in 2013, Logan helped lead Troy to a Sun Belt Conference title and a berth in the Tallahassee regional.

He was once again named First Team All-Sun Belt and was chosen as a Third Team All-American.

Upon arriving in Williamsport, Logan proceeded to lead the team in hitting and is carrying that momentum into spring training.

If you have seen Logan in years past and then seen him lately, you will notice he is not the man he used to be, in more ways than one.

Logan was probably a little heavier than he would have liked in high school and college, weighing about 215, but although he is 210 now, he has replaced all fat with lean muscle.

“I feel like I am in the best shape of my life,” Logan said. “I am able to do things in conditioning now that I felt I was unable to do before. I have leaned up enough and able to do what they need me to do to have the endurance to last not just spring training, but the whole season.”

In addition to his body strength, Logan also has great newfound strength of faith.

“It took me a while, as I was a poor attitude student, but once I got that wakeup call from my dad cleaning out my locker, it turned my academic career around,” Pierce said. “Now I have appreciation for my diploma. I earned it. That’s a great feeling to know you have earned that diploma.”

“This is all a blessing. God has changed my life and allowed me to glorify Him in this sport and through my play, even though I mess up sometimes. But He has blessed me with the gift of knowing how to play baseball and the talents to do it. It is a blessing but the dream does not stop here.”