MLB.com Columnist

Alyson Footer

Logan happy to pitch at home in Alamodome

Family, friends flock to watch Tribe reliever face Rangers

Logan happy to pitch at home in Alamodome

SAN ANTONIO -- Soon after Boone Logan signed as a free agent with the Indians last month, his wife pointed out a segment of the Tribe's Spring Training schedule that piqued the lefty's interest: A two-game series at the Alamodome in San Antonio, right in the middle of March.

Logan expressed his interest in making that trip to his manager, Terry Francona, who was happy to make that happen.

"I requested it," Logan said.

Logan was born in San Antonio, grew up in nearby Helotes, and still makes his home there today. Though he doesn't have any special affinity for the Alamodome -- a basketball and football venue that has been converted into a baseball field for the past five years to accommodate Big League Weekend -- playing in front of family and friends in his hometown was a thrill for the veteran left-hander.

"The last time I played here, I was in high school," Logan said. "It's been a long time. A lot of people did come throughout the community that I know back home in this area. It means a lot."

As a youth attending Sandra Day O'Connor High School in Helotes, Logan didn't attend many Major League games and didn't really follow the Rangers or Astros. His baseball fandom was instead directed toward the Braves, whose games were broadcast nationally on TBS, and perennial All-Star Chipper Jones, Logan's baseball idol.

Logan said he kept the pass list to a minimum for the series between the Indians and Rangers, but many more friends and family also flocked to the Dome to watch Logan pitch. He threw one scoreless inning in the Tribe's 3-2 win Friday night, his only appearance during the two-game set.

Among the onlookers was Logan's high school coach, David Collenback, and a few ballplayers from O'Connor High School. Logan spends time at the school during the offseason, playing catch with current players, which has allowed him to stay in close contact with his former coach.

"I think a couple of them made it out here to watch," Logan said. "It was good. I was happy to perform here in front of them. Some people can't get away, can't watch me play anywhere else. So that's what was nice, being able to come here and pitch in front of my home crowd."

Logan, a veteran of 11 seasons, spent the past three years with the Rockies. He led Colorado with 66 relief appearances in 2016, holding opponents scoreless in 54 games. He did not allow a home run at hitter-friendly Coors Field last year, a streak that extended 30 2/3 innings.

The 32-year-old Logan signed a one-year contract with the Indians in early February and is expected to provide left-handed reinforcement in a bullpen headlined by Andrew Miller and Cody Allen.

Presumably, the San Antonio series wasn't the first topic of conversation that came up during Logan's initial meetings with his new skipper, but Logan was pleased to volunteer his services for the team's mid-spring trek to Texas.

"I asked Tito," Logan said. "'Hey, I want to make that trip.' Of course, it wasn't a problem."

Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.