On February 18th, Logan Sports in North Canton will conduct their fourth annual charity autograph session featuring Ohio State players. This is a rare opportunity for Buckeye fans to get autographs of current players as well as past greats. Antonio Pittman, T.J. Downing and possibly Troy Smith are scheduled to appear with Mike Kudla and Dustin Fox. All proceeds will go to benefit the James Cancer Hospital at The Ohio State University.
The Logan family has a long and storied history in Ohio State football. Dick Logan played for both Woody Hayes and Wes Fesler. Son Jeff also played for Woody Hayes at Ohio State, making them only the second father-son combination to play for Hayes, the other being Howard and Craig Cassady.
When asked about his playing days at Ohio State, the elder Logan smiled as he looked back at his time as a Buckeye.
"I played three years for Wes Fesler and my senior year Woody arrived," said Logan. "Wes Fesler was a gentleman in every sense of the word," said Logan. "He wouldn't say "shoot, darn it, or shucks" and come to think of it Woody wouldn't use those words either."
Dick Logan played in the famous "Snow Bowl" against Michigan in 1950. Ohio State lost the game 9-3 in blizzard-like conditions.
"That game was unbelievable," said Logan. "There were over 50,000 people there and I don't know how they could see the field. They knew the snow was coming so they put a tarp over the field the day before the game. The snow was so heavy that they couldn't get the tarp off the field, so we played the game over top of it."
Dick and Gloria Logan raised a family of 5 children, all of them Buckeye supporters and many of them successful athletes in their own right.
Son Jeff was one of the greatest football players in Stark County history and played running back for Ohio State from 1973-1976. Jeff is a financial consultant in Columbus and also served as a past president of the Varsity-O booster club.He also served on the search committee that hired Jim Tressel as the Ohio State football coach. Dick Logan is proud of Jeff for playing on teams that beat Michigan.
"I never got a pair of gold pants because we never beat Michigan when I was there," said Logan. "I'm glad Jeff was able to get a couple of them for beating Michigan."
Another son, Jud, participated in four Olympics as a hammer thrower. He is currently the head track coach at Ashland University.
Andy Logan is now the president of Logan Sports having taken over for his father. His sister Amy helps him run the store, while brother Whit is a successful businessman in Columbus.
Andy played football at Kent State, leading the nation in interceptions as a senior. After a short stint with the Bengals he returned home to run the family business. He talked about the relationship he has with Ohio State University.
"They approved our idea of the autograph sessions as a charity function four years ago," said Logan. "The players receive no money and all they can accept is a meal for coming and donating their time. Community involvement is so important to Jim Tressel and he stresses giving back to the community to his players. Part of the player evaluation is what they do in the community and that could be anything from visiting elementary schools to donating time at a senior citizens home. This is all part of Jim Tressel's influence over these athletes."
Logan, who also coaches football at Hoover high school, stressed that the autograph session only happens because of the cooperation of the Ohio State compliance office and the NCAA.
"Each kid has to sign a form," said Logan. "We do everything to the letter of the law in working closely with Stan Jefferson. The kids seem to enjoy being part of it and we're thrilled to be able to raise money for a great cause. Every dollar we raise goes toward the charity."
Logan Sports has been a mainstay of the Stark County community for 31 years and is known for their involvement in many different projects in the area.