ATLANTA, Ga. (WFIE) - Just about any kid who plays baseball has the dream of making it to the big leagues.
Since Major League Baseball decided to play an abbreviated season, one Tri-State native has a great opportunity to realize his dream, and he’s hoping to make the most of it.
Opportunity has knocked for Logan Brown, a former Mount Vernon and USI baseball star. He has been named to the 60-man roster with the Atlanta Braves for the team’s COVID-19-shortened season.
He was actually closing on a house in Evansville when he got the call.
“I got a call pretty early in the morning, like 9 a.m., from my player development guy, basically saying that I’d made the 60-man player pool and that I’d be going to the Atlanta area,” Brown said. “He basically said I had to be there in three days, so it was pretty short timing.”
Major League Baseball is set to begin its 60-game season on Friday, but with the risk of players contracting the coronavirus at any time, MLB came up with an expanded 60-man player pool to give teams added insurance. Brown is one of seven catchers assigned to the Braves’ player pool, three of whom have major league experience.
A couple of weeks ago, Brown reported for a four-week “spring training” to get ready for the season.
“They split 30 and 30, between the Triple-A stadium and the big league stadium. So basically the established big leaguers are at Truist Park in Atlanta, but I’m at the Triple-A stadium, hitting the stuff we were working on in spring training, trying to better ourselves,” Brown said. “We hit, do a little defensive work, then catch a few bullpens, basically training, staying ready, just in case something was to happen with everything going on right now.”
Four Braves players did test positive for COVID-19 a few weeks ago, including star first baseman Freddie Freeman, so Brown knows first-hand how serious the virus is, and he’s not taking it lightly.
“It’s not something to mess around with, so I’m trying to stay quarantined as much as possible. I don’t want it to have it happen to me and me miss out on a chance,” Brown said
MLB and the Braves have daily strict protocols to try to keep their players from contracting the virus.
“We go in with a mask, and we go to the intake screening, which they basically ask you, ‘Have you come in contact with anyone? Do you have any of the new symptoms?' Every other day right now they’re COVID testing us,” Brown said. “They’re sending it out the same day, and we get it back within about 24 to 48 hours. It’s just something you’re not used to because usually you just walk in the facility, you play ball, and you leave.”
But Brown is staying positive, trying to take advantage of his chance. And it’s not like he hasn’t earned it. In his second season of pro ball, Brown played half the season for the Class ‘A’ Rome Braves, making the single ‘A’ all-star game, then was promoted to the ‘High A', Kissimmee Fire Frogs.
“I was very happy with my first full season of baseball, being able to be called up,” Brown said.
And while in Rome, he caught the likes of big leaguers, Kevin Gausman and Dallas Keuchel, on rehab assignments, both of whom he impressed.
“I just picked up any little thing, did everything I could to make a successful outing for them and I. Not a lot of people get to say they’ve caught a Cy Young winner and World Series champion. Dallas Keuchel talked me up a little bit, so that was definitely nice,” Brown said.
Now Brown may have begun the season back in ‘High-A’, or even Double-A, but since all the minor league seasons were wiped out due to the pandemic, he didn’t think he’d play at all this year. Instead, he’s getting a huge chance to show what he can do, in front of some important eyes.
“It’s amazing because I could be sitting at home taking a full year off completely, but with this 60-man, it may be a long shot, but there’s a chance, obviously, if things were to go wrong, which I hope does not happen, but everything happens for a reason, and I’m very blessed to be able to be here.” Brown said.
Now, Brown is the son of former major league catcher, Kevin Brown, and the elder Brown says he is stoked, that Logan’s hard work is coming to fruition.