For much of his life, Logan Shields has traded off between perfecting his academic work as a home-schooled student and perfecting his craft as an athlete.
The latter endeavor resulted in the Missouri City teenager being chosen to participate in a national select baseball tournament later this month.
Shields, a seventh-grader at Thornton Middle School who pitches and plays third base, was one of 28 players recently selected to play in the inaugural Perfect Game 12U Select Baseball Festival on Aug. 28-30 in Marietta, Georgia. The event will showcase the talents of the top 12-and-under players in the country as selected by Perfect Game staff members. Those selected must have attended at least one Perfect Game tournament or Perfect Game “The Series” event in 2020 to be considered for selection.
“I put in a lot of hard work going out to the baseball field with my dad, and my mom is the one that really pushes me,” Shields said. “It felt amazing knowing my name was out there among the top kids in the nation.”
In addition to scheduled tournaments and other games, some participants also took part in a series of skills-training exercises and competitions against similarly-skilled players during the 2020 season until the player pool was whittled down to 28.
Though he had been noticed before, Shields said his selection was special.
“I was honestly just surprised that I made it that far,” he said.
Success on the diamond is in Shields’ bloodlines. His mother, Stacy Shields, was a high school softball player in Manvel, while his aunt pitched at Texas Lutheran University.
Ever since picking up a ball at age 3 and playing T-ball at age 5, Stacy said her son immediately took to the game and has never taken his talent for granted – even as it takes him around the region and the country to states like Oklahoma and Georgia, where he was playing in a tournament last weekend.
“We definitely do have some ball background, and we do push him pretty hard. But he’s definitely embraced it all,” Stacy said. “He’s extremely hard-headed and very competitive, so that helps with his drive as well. His coaches all have very high expectations as well, so everybody involved really pushes him hard.”
Logan echoed the sentiment.
“I tried it out in T-ball and thought it was fun, so I kept on playing it and loving it from there,” he said.
It’s not the first time the younger Shields has been recognized for his standout talent. He was also chosen for the 12U USA national team that traveled to Taiwan as part of the U-17 Baseball World Cup last year, and pitched in a win against the Korean 12U national team. Closer to home, he has played with Houston-based ZT Elite select baseball team for the past three years and will do so again this season.
But amidst the success – on or off the field – Stacy Shields said the family mantra has always been to enjoy it while keeping their nose to the grindstone. She also said playing with select and national teams has helped Logan develop a maturity that belies his years.
“We were just so proud (when he was selected), because he has definitely put in all the hard work,” she said. “We’ve always stressed to him to work hard, but also stay humble. You can be good today and not so good tomorrow.”
Logan appears to have taken the advice to heart. When he’s not traveling the country or the world playing baseball, he’s laying low at a friend’s lake house or the neighborhood pool in Sienna, at an amusement park or playing video games.
But when he’s on that field and all eyes are on him, Stacy said her son is living his passion – which is all a parent can want for their child.
“We’re very nervous when he pitches like all parents are,” she said. “But just seeing the smile on his face because he loves the game and wants to be one of the top players makes us so proud.”