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Logan Wade signs with Minnesota
Potential future Bandits player joins Rory Rhodes with the Twins
04/18/2012 2:07 PM ET
Logan Wade playing for the Windsor Royals
Logan Wade playing for the Windsor Royals 
Last week was an incredible week for Logan Wade.

The slugger had two reasons to celebrate, the first with Queensland, who took the Grand Final on Easter Monday in the National Under-23 Championships. His second achievement was the curveball that Wade was hoping for, but did not see coming.

After a self-imposed 'do-or-die' year of baseball that focused on working up to his peak through rigorous training, Wade's career finally took a huge leap when he signed with the Minnesota Twins on Friday, making the 20-year-old the eighth Australian in the organisation currently.

In June, Wade will join five Australian Baseball League players who are based in Fort Myers with the Twins, including Brisbane's Rory Rhodes, Canberra's Tim Atherton, Melbourne's Sam Gibbons and Joshua Hendricks, and Sydney's Jacob Younis. Victorian James Beresford, presumably next in line, is currently in Double-A with the New Britain Rock Cats.

Wade's interest in baseball started in t-ball when he began playing at just age eight. His father Greg, a well-known Australian baseball entity and a Blue Jays scout of several years, remained at his son's side during his rise up the ranks, and is expectedly excited about the new opportunity.

"My dad's been in the game for awhile and he knows how much I try," the younger Wade said. "Mum and dad are really happy about it all, especially because dad believes I'm suited to the type of game over there, playing five days a week."

The young Queenslander persisted from the day he decided his future was in professional ball.

"I've been playing baseball all my life," he said. "But it wasn't until the U16s [that] I thought I'd really have a go making something out of it. From there on I put my head down and worked really hard and for three years nothing happened."

Despite missing out on joining the Bandits for their most recent season, an undeterred Wade put everything in his local team, the Windsor Royals, who made it to the Grand Finals in March. The young hitter will have an opportunity to train with the Bandits for the upcoming season.

In addition to baseball, Wade has competed at the top level in several other sports, including Rugby Union and Australian football. This juggling act has contributed to the diverse athlete that the hitter is today. But focusing on baseball was at the centre of Wade's recent development.

"For me, this last year has been all about working things out with my swing," he said. "Being a switch-hitter I know I've got to prove I can do both well. I guess it's a good thing but I've had to really focus on my left-handed swing, because the pitchers I'm usually coming up against in Queensland are righties."

For years, Wade has considered his right-handed swing the more natural, therefore investing more into establlishing confidence in his left side.

"I thought performing well in any representative team was getting that one step closer," Wade said of his training schedule for the U23 championships.

And when a scout approached him on the second day of the tournament, Wade still wasn't certain that he'd made any headway on his hopeful upgrades.

"Basically, he came up and introduced himself and said, 'If you keep on going the way you're going, some doors will open up,'" Wade said of his encounter with the scout. "I assumed [that] if anything, he was talking about possibly going to play college ball in the U.S."

Before Wade was on the flight home last Monday night, an email was waiting for him, congratulating him on the Twins contract that the scout would have organised by mid-week. The huge transition he will make in two months is less daunting with the knowledge that several fellow Aussies will be there to greet him when he arrives at Twins camp.

"It'd be good to see everyone," Wade said. "A few of the boys like [Liam] Hendricks and Younis have already contacted me to say congratulations."

The Twins have been good to Liam Hendricks and Luke Hughes, who were both on the Opening Day roster to open the Major League Baseball season in April. If the success of the two Perth Heat players who have made it to The Show is anything to go by, Wade has a real shot of getting to the top, especially in an organisation that values determination and a tough Aussie.

This story was not subject to the approval of the Australian Baseball League or its clubs.