BY STEVE KRAH
Logan Grigsby has seen many parts of the world and baseball has been his helped punch his ticket.
Born in Riverside, Calif., on July 11, 1995, Grigsby attended Rim of the World High School in Arrowhead Lake, which is near San Bernadino and 80 miles east of Los Angeles.
“Going into my senior year of high school I had no idea of the processes for recruiting,” says Grigsby “My dad was my scout. He researched showcases.”
After attending a showcase in northern California, sending out a video produced by his father (Brock Grigsby) and meeting financial planner who specializes in finding places to play, Logan was sent a list of college baseball candidates that fit his profile.
I really wanted to play baseball
“If I had just wanted to go to college, I might have went to school in California,” says Grigsby, who narrowed his preferences to Gordon College in Wenham, Mass., Messiah University in Mechanicsburg, Pa., and Grace College in Winona Lake, Ind.
Gordon and Messiah are NCAA Division III schools and do not offer athletic scholarship money. NAIA-affiliated Grace does.
Grigsby visited to all three campuses. Though it was a cold, wintry day in northern Indiana, he came away impressed by Grace and the right-handed pitcher joined the Lancers.
Eric Gonzalez recruited Grigsby, but was not still on campus when the Californian joined the Lancers.
A versatile player, he was a pitcher, shortstop and center fielder in high school.
At Grace, Grigsby was a valuable pinch runner at the beginning of his career who worked his way to one of the top pitchers by the end.
In all, he played in 118 games. He made 50 mound appearances (24 as a starter) and won nine games while striking out 135 and walking 65 in 148 2/3 innings. All five of his complete games came in his final two seasons with the Lancers.
Through a conversation between the Bombers general manager Tony Gonzalez and former big league pitcher Mike Hartley, who played and coached in Germany, Grigsby found himself pitching professionally in that country.
While at Grace, he also became familiar with Tom Roy, who wore various hats during Grigsby’s time on the Grace campus, including pitching coach, team chaplain and mentor. Roy was co-head coach at Grace with Ryan Roth in 2019. Roth was made the lone head coach for 2020.
“Tom is awesome,” says Grigsby of Roy. “He’s been a huge influence in my life.”
“God was good enough to put these people in my life,” says Grigsby. “It just made sense. I always wanted to live in Germany. Growing up, I had visited there. I have a lot of family there — all on my mom’s side.”
Brock and Maren Grigsby have four sons — Fritz (29), Cody (27), Logan (25) and Leif (23).
The Bundesliga’s regular season is around 40 games typically running from April to September plus the finals in October. The team played mostly on Saturdays and Sundays.
Heidenheim won the South Division, competed in the Champions Cup in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and lost in the German championship in 2018.
Grigsby also coached a 12U youth squad.
At the end of the 2019 season, he was invited to go with the German national team for training camp in Japan and then helped win a German title.
Grigsby had planned to return to Germany for the spring and summer when Nettuno Baseball Club 1945 in the Italian Baseball League made him a generous contract offer to join Nettuno’s lanciatori (pitchers) and get a chance to log more innings than he did the previous two summers.
He is the lone American on the team.
As was the case in Germany, Nettuno pays for Grigsby’s flights, lodging (he lives in a flat with three other players) and the use of a car.
Games tend to be on weekends and maybe once during the week. This has given him time to take the train to Rome (Nettuno, also in the Lazio region, is 37 miles or 60 kilometers south) for sightseeing.
The beach in Nettuno — a resort town on the Tyrrhenian Sea — is a 5-minute walk from from Grigsby’s flat.
Grigsby signed with Nettuno in February, returned home for brother Leif’s wedding and then came the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown.
He finally arrived in Italy on July 1.
“Of course there were doubts,” says Grigsby. “The season should’ve started the first week of April.”
While waiting a phone message, Grigsby moved to Santa Barbara, Calif., moved in with childhood friend Jacob Ochs and worked as a carpenter for his father’s cousin, Byron Beck.
“It was the ideal situation,” says Grigsby. “I had a job, a private gym and a personal throwing partner.”
The Italian season started Saturday, July 18.
“Once-in-a-lifetime has turned into a regular occurrence for me,” says Grigsby.
When Grigsby played in Germany, family and friends would would did not know the language ask him to translate. He does not speak Italian. He points them to tools like Google Translate.
Two of his roommates in Italy are Dominicans, including Ariel Soriano.
“I might learn more Spanish than Italian,” says Grigsby.