By Bob Fabian
Logan White was raised learning to love the game of baseball, but he’s had to make many changes in his path to the major leagues.
He wants to make another change — one to give Portales youth a better chance to duplicate his success.
“I want kids to think, ‘This guy used to be like me. I can do that too,’” White said.
White is the director of amateur scouting for the Los Angeles Dodgers. It is the most recent of many stops in baseball for White, who started as a pitcher with the Seattle Mariners.
White, a 1980 Portales High graduate, wants to bring his love of baseball to Portales and help the youth of the city along the way.
“My dream someday is to see a new little league field put in,” White said. “If they (the kids) get to interact with each other and learn a life skill that’s important.”
White has already helped Portales youth live some of their dreams. In August, White took Tyler Rutherford and Brice Chambers to Los Angeles to play in Dodgers Stadium with other children across the country as part of the Dodger Elite Games.
“I truly love being a part of the kids’ dreams.” White said.
As a followup, White wants to bring some of his baseball connections from California to Portales. White wants to bring free baseball camps to Portales with surprise guests from baseball.
White said that clinics will probably be held in December, or possibly as soon as the summer. However, White mentioned during the season would be a hard time to hold the clinics.
The seasons have been busy, and successful, since White signed on with the Dodgers in late 2001.
In 2004, ESPN’s Baseball Insider ranked White as the No. 4 scouting director in all of baseball, according to an article written by Jerry Crasnick of ESPN Insider.
“It was a real honor, the guys ranked ahead of me I have a lot of respect for.” White said. (Minnesota’s Mike Radcliff, Milwaukee’s Jack Zduriencik and Texas’ Grady Fuson were all ranked ahead of White. Atlanta’s Roy Clark filled the fifth spot.)
White mentioned however that it was not a solo effort, saying that, “You’re only as good as the people you work with.”
The Dodgers, however, have noticed, and have rewarded White with a two-year extension. White hopes to keep up the success with the Dodgers, the reigning National League West champions.
“It’s absolutely a challenge,” White said. “It’s so competitive.”
After graduating from PHS, White played at Murray State Junior College. From there he went on to Western New Mexico University for the 1983 and 1984 seasons.
In 1984 he was drafted and signed by Seattle, where he pitched for three years until shoulder injuries forced him to retire.
White got his second chance at the major leagues in 1989 when he was hired by the Baltimore Orioles as a scout. In the fall of 1992, he was named the western United States supervisor for the San Diego Padres and in the fall of 1995 went back to the Orioles for a similar position.
White worked with the Orioles until Dec. 17, 2001, when he was hired by the Dodgers.
White said he scouts because he loves being a part of the dreams of people he drafts. He likes helping players out, in the same way that people from his hometown helped him.
“When you are successful,” White said, “you remember the people that helped you.”
White mentioned Jim Love, the Engle Family of Portales, Randall Hill and the late Frank Poyner. White mentioned that all of those people, and others, became a surrogate family.
Now that he’s entrenched in the Dodger family, he couldn’t be happier.
Tommy Lasorda, former Dodger manager and current senior vice president, said that White “covered the country like a blanket” when he first started looking for prospects.
Now, Lasorda also knows him as a part of two great families — the Dodger family and White’s own.
“To me, I’d like to know more about how he is as a father and husband,” Lasorda said. “I found that he is a tremendous family man.
“We couldn’t have picked a better scouting director. He has so much enthusiasm and passion.”