Second baseman Logan Watkins is trying to make a name for himself with the… (Jos? M. Osorio / Chicago…)
He earns a living on one of baseball's most sacred diamonds, but it didn't always feel like Logan Watkins' destiny.
"I wasn't really a huge baseball fan growing up," said Watkins, a second baseman for the Cubs. "Obviously I like playing baseball but watching it, I caught the highlights every now and then but I never really sat around and had a team that I watched pretty religiously."
Naturally, that's changed since he became a pro ballplayer.
"I love the sport and my favorite team now is the Cubs but it's been crazy," he said. "I've learned a lot since I decided to play full time."
Now Watkins finds himself auditioning for a job on next year's roster.
"I just know the next two months, that's all just a learning experience for me so someday I can call this place my permanent home for the season," he said.
Watkins, a 21st-round pick out of Goddard High School in Kansas in 2008, was recently called up to give Gold Glove second baseman Darwin Barney an occasional rest. Having been picked so late in the draft, Watkins faced long odds just to get to the big leagues.
"I wasn't really highly touted out of high school," he said. "The Cubs took a chance on me and I felt like I really owed it to them to get here and make it with them, and it happened and it was a pretty surreal experience."
He's going to face even longer odds if he's going to stick around. Cubs manager Dale Sveum acknowledged Watkins has an uphill battle ahead when it comes to making an impression on the powers that be.
"It's gonna be hard to get him any at-bats this season," Sveum said. "Barney's our everyday second baseman. He'll probably get a few days off the rest of the season. It's one of them things right now where we don't have really any place to play him at any given time."
Of course Watkins is aware he's not in his native Kansas anymore, something he learned during his first day at his new "office."
"Obviously coming up in the Cubs system you get small doses everywhere you go of how great Cub fans are, but to see all of them in one place is—obviously the first game was overwhelming," he said. "Every day you come to work knowing that you represent a whole city that's backing your team, so you wanna do everything to work hard to make them proud."
Watkins, who is living in a hotel downtown, wasn't able to pack up his apartment in Des Moines, Iowa, before getting the call to the big leagues. Fortunately, a fellow prospect moved in to his place and was able to get him some clean clothes quickly
"[Third base prospect] Mike Olt moved into my apartment and he sent me some of my stuff. I think I still have a few things there I might need to get but for the most part I've got everything now," he said. "I was running low on clothes to say the least and when we got here, I had to go shopping."
Watkins said he's still adjusting to life in Chicago, but his first taste has him hoping he'll be able to stick around.
"Just been staying in a hotel downtown so far, so [I've] kind of got that part of the city down a little bit," he said. "Obviously I haven't been around too much, I need to go out and venture out a little bit and see what Chicago has to offer."
Matt Lindner is a RedEye special contributor.
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