In a high school baseball season that never was due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s senior pitcher Logan Wood was the biggest winner — really the only winner — by being named Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Michigan.
Wood, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound left-hander, feels he received the honor due to past seasons at St. Mary’s, along with his charity work off the diamond.
Wood had an outstanding sophomore year, going 9-2 with a 2.20 ERA to help St. Mary’s reach the Division 2 state semifinals. He went 10-0 with a 1.05 ERA and 138 strikeouts in 78⅔ innings and capped off his junior year with a state championship, doing his job in a 10-0 semifinal win over Muskegon.
“I just tried to work hard and get better than I did last year when I was 10-0," Wood said. "There still a lot to improve on last year, just with control, throw it harder and getting more spin on my off-speed (pitches), so I worked out, throwing my bullpens, stretching a lot, doing a lot of bands. That was my season this year."
Wood was clocked at 89 mph in high school ball last season and threw 92 mph a couple of weeks ago.
So, when did Wood find out about the Gatorade award?
“Two weeks ago I was nominated for it," he said. "Then after that I was a finalist and once I was a finalist I had to start filling out some questions with Coach (Matt) Petry, just my accolades and my achievements, everything on and off the field.
“They (Gatorade officials) want to know what I do off the field. I’ve helped with the Miracle League, helped wrap gifts for the military families at Christmas, and each year my family picks a local family to give gifts to at Christmas time.
“It means a lot to me, a great honor to be Gatorade Player of the Year. Looking back at all the time I worked hard, gave up time to be with friends to work on my game, it all paid off.”
When asked what the Miracle League was, Wood replied: “There’s a group of kids who have learning disabilities or other disabilities and we play two games of baseball. Our St. Mary’s team helps them learn to throw the ball and swing the bat. It’s a real fun experience. It’s kids of all ages, from age 7 to kids our age.”
Wood plans to make his way to Ann Arbor in early August to start his college career at Michigan and is looking forward to getting started in fall ball.