11-year-old baseball player battling cancer makes heroic season debut

WESTFIELD, Ind. (WISH) — Ask any of these ballplayers about 11-year-old Logan Gellert, and a lightning-quick answer comes right back.

This winter, Logan’s travel baseball teammates noticed their third baseman was missing. The odd emergence of a golf-ball-sized lump on Logan’s hand on Valentine’s Day turned out to be diagnosed as stage 4 alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare childhood cancer.

“Each week is really different. Each day is different,” said Logan’s mother, Jessica. “It’s a yearlong process, yearlong protocol. Some days we’re there just a day or two, some days were there outpatient, some five days and we stay.”

Late June meant baseball, and despite undergoing chemotherapy earlier that day, Logan was back with his team for the first time all season.

It was a return that included throwing a ceremonial first pitch to a seven-time major league All-Star — Indiana native Scott Rolen, a third baseman by trade, thrilled to switch to catcher.

 “We have a jersey for you all right, bud?” Rolen revealed to Logan. “Hey we are all on your team. We are going to fight the whole way through.”  

“He’s already got the biggest smile in the whole place,” Rolen said. “This is his night and his parents’ and family’s night. It was a great pitch. I didn’t know he was going all the way out.”

The pregame ceremony was just part of this story. Equally important was Logan’s first at-bat – and an important one.

“Baseball means a lot, but the life of a child, he’s such a good child and will grow up to be a great human,” Logan’s coach Mike Adkins said. “It’s what we need, right? It’s a good thing.”  

“He’s been waiting to play all year. Keep it up buddy, we’re going get you back on this field full-time,” he told Logan.

Baseball’s best gift is its stage, because out here, no one stands alone.