Logan Grant admits he’s not the best cook, so getting to play close to home for the first time in a few years has been a nice treat.
He grew up in the Dawgs Academy program in Okotoks before heading off to school at Bismarck State College and, most recently, Bellevue University.
After successful stints with the Sylvan Lake Gulls in 2021 and the Swift Current 57s in 2022, he’s back in the friendly confines of Seaman Stadium as part of the Okotoks Dawgs, a team he always wanted to play for.
“It’s unbelievable being able to be on this side of it,” Grant told Alberta Dugout Stories: The Podcast. “Watching those players growing up, it’s super-cool getting to do what they got to do.”
He is hitting .368 with two home runs, 12 runs batted in and two stolen bases in 14 games for the Dawgs, earning himself a spot on the West Division roster for the league’s All-Star Game, which is scheduled for July 15 in Okotoks.
It’s the latest in a string of successes for Grant, who has been a force at every turn.
After graduating from the Dawgs Academy program in 2020, Grant was forced to wait out the COVID-19 pandemic before heading south of the border to begin his college baseball journey.
He headed to Bismarck State College in North Dakota, and immediately became a presence, finishing the year with a .423 batting average, eight homers, 58 RBI and six stolen bases in 37 games.
For his efforts, Grant was named to the MonDak All-Conference Team as well as the NJCAA Division II All-Region XIII Baseball Team, while being named to both the Alberta Dugout Stories All-College Team as well as the Canadian Baseball Network’s All-College Second Team.
“My mentality was that I wanted to do anything I could to help us win,” he said on Episode #133 of Alberta Dugout Stories: The Podcast in May 2021.
“Guys in scoring position, sometimes you can’t go for your swing and try to get that double or home run – you just need that little single to score a couple of runs and get us on the board.”
Grant was originally slated to join the Fort McMurray Giants that summer, but with the uncertainty created by the pandemic, the team decided not to take part in the season.
Instead, the freshman catcher joined the Sylvan Lake Gulls for their inaugural season, hitting .299 with a home run and 11 RBI in 25 games.
NO SOPHOMORE SLUMP
It’s hard to believe, but Grant was only getting started with the Mystics.
He returned for the 2021-2022 season, where he upped his batting average to .462 while hitting 10 home runs and knocking in 73 runs in 44 games.
That performance earned him some more hardware, once again being named to all of the teams he was the previous college season.
READ MORE: 2022 ADS All-College Team
That summer, Grant returned to the WCBL with the Swift Current 57s, where he hit .262 with two homers, 29 RBI and 13 stolen bases in 52 games.
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound backstop also earned an invite to the league’s All-Star Game in Okotoks.
Even though he had grown up there and knew fans would be out in force, Grant admits the atmosphere was something special.
Above photos: Logan Grant with the Okotoks Dawgs (Credit: Brent Calver/Western Wheel), swinging with the Swift Current 57s (Credit: Ian Wilson) and heading back to the Sylvan Lake Gulls dugout (Credit: Ian Wilson)
“It was a pretty cool experience,” he said.
“I just remember the environment and meeting all the guys from all the other teams – hearing their stories and how the summer was going for them.”
While his East Division team lost to the West Division in extra innings, Grant was grateful for the opportunity and hoped he would get there again before too long.
Grant’s on-field prowess also gave him the chance to continue chasing his baseball dreams, as he committed to Bellevue University.
The school has developed a relationship with the Dawgs, thanks in part to Bruins assistant coach and Dawgs head coach Mitch Schmidt.
Several players have traveled between the two programs over the last few years, including J.T. Patterson, Brandon Desjardins, Riley Baasch and Corey Jackson.
This past spring, Grant was joined by fellow Canadians Brendan Luther, Mathieu Sirois and Jared Eifler.
After steering himself through a rocky start, the left-hitting utilityman finished with a .367 batting average, 11 home runs and 69 RBI in 58 games.
“Once I settled in and realized it’s just baseball, I started to enjoy it, got into a groove and things started to turn around for me,” Grant said. “Being able to be such a big part of that lineup, it was huge to come in and have a good season and to prove myself as a first-year there.”
He was named to the Northstar Athletic Association All-Conference Team and picked up Newcomer of the Year award.
The Bruins, meantime, earned a spot at the NAIA World Series, and while they fell short, he believes the best is yet to come.
“I think this year, we kind of went in and guys were almost nervous or not expecting it,” Grant said of the atmosphere.
“We’re expecting to be back and going in with the mindset that we’re going to win, which is huge for us I think.”
THE LOUD CHEERING SECTION
Before he gets back to Bellevue, Grant has one more thing he needs to get his hands on: a WCBL championship.
The Dawgs are the reigning champions, and despite having quite a few returning veterans from that team, they are feeling no pressure to get a second-straight title.
“Obviously, everyone wants to knock off the top dogs,” he said. “For us, we’re just really enjoying ourselves and have as much fun as possible.”
Grant says the music is almost always playing the clubhouse, with players dancing around and trying to enjoy the summer.
It’s an atmosphere the sports management major is welcoming with open arms.
“This is our time away from school, this is our time to relax and really enjoy baseball again,” Grant said. “Not that we don’t at school, but this is just a time where you’re not worried about classes or worried about any of that extra stuff at school.”
He’s also not having to worry about cooking for himself either, as there are plenty of meals waiting at the Grant household.
That is, when his parents, Kevin and Alana, aren’t out watching the oldest of their three sons, something they will likely be doing again during the All-Star Game festivities.
“I had a lot of people there that I knew and had friends that I grew up with and other families that we know from around the area,” Grant said of the 2022 game. “That was really cool to be able to play in front of them and hearing them cheer when I got announced at the start of that.”
We would be willing to bet that cheering section will be much louder this time around.