Logan Michaels, a 2016 DeForest Area High School graduate, grew up a fan of the Madison Mallards, but the catcher spent the past two summers playing for another Northwoods League team, the Rockford Rivets.
Michaels finally got to live out his childhood dream earlier this summer when he suited up for the Mallards.
“It has been a blast,” Michaels said. “It is great being home for the summer. My friends and family come watch nearly every game. The atmosphere and crowds have been unbelievable and the guys on the team are great. It has been a great experience.”
Michaels rewarded Madison for finally giving him a chance to play with an all-star performance. He played in the league’s all-star game last month.
In 41 games this summer, Michaels is second on the team with a .354 average. He has 57 hits, 26 RBIs, 25 runs and 11 doubles.
Michaels made his impact felt right away. In his first game, he went 4-for-6 with two RBIs and two runs.
“To put the uniform on for the first time was awesome,” Michaels said. “Growing up it was my dream to play for the Mallards.”
The great numbers helped Michaels get the selection to the all-star game, where he collected a hit and threw out a base stealer in five innings of play.
“It was an experience I will never forget,” Michaels said. “It obviously was great to play with the top players in the league.”
In 2017 with the Rivets, Michaels played in 13 games and batted .265 with 11 RBIs and six runs, while last summer he batted .154 with six runs, four RBIs and four doubles in 23 games.
The Mallards have already qualified for the Northwoods playoffs after winning the Great Lakes West first-half title with a 25-11 record.
Things have been a little tougher for Madison in the second half. They are currently in fifth place in the division with 12-14 mark.
“In the first half of the summer, we were hitting well,” Michaels said. “We are still hitting well, but our pitching has been struggling lately. I’m confident our pitchers will turn things around. It makes it more fun when we are having success as a team.”
The Northwoods League regular season ends on Sunday, Aug. 11. The playoffs begin the following day.
After spending his first two years of college playing for Madison Area Technical College, Michaels spent this past year with the University of Virginia.
After struggling at first, Michaels settled in and had a solid spring for the Cavaliers. He batted .311 with 20 RBIs, 20 runs and four doubles.
“It was difficult at first because I was dealing with a lot,” Michaels said. “My dad was battling cancer, I was leaving home for the first time and going to a new school. The first semester didn’t go well, but in the spring season I set some high expectations and played pretty well. I look forward to getting back there in a few weeks.”
Until he heads back to Virginia, Michaels is going to enjoy the rest of his time with the Mallards and hopefully lead them to a Northwoods League title.
“I’m excited to see what we can do here at the end of the season,” Michaels said.