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Two generations of Cotton: Former La Porte baseball standout enjoying his son's success at Crown Point

Updated: Apr 13


CROWN POINT – Two distinct attitudes were on display at a high school baseball game on Tuesday.

On the field, the son – Logan Cotton – was on the rubber, calmly warming up for Crown Point's against LaPorte.

His pulse was slow. There was no extra emotion in facing the Slicers.

“I was just focusing on throwing strikes, getting outs,” Cotton said. “Other than that, there was nothing at all.”

In the press box, Jason Cotton – the father – did his best to keep his jitters under control. Watching your son pitch against the high school where you were a star and helped Hall of Fame coach Ken Schreiber win the 1990 state championship isn’t easy.

Especially when you’re the public address announcer for the home team.

“This makes me nervous, playing against LaPorte,” Jason said. “I know how gritty they are under coach (Scott) Upp. Plus, with all my history there, it gets me up for it a little more.”

Jason and his family lived in rural Kingsbury, outside of the city limits. He said he really didn’t follow LaPorte baseball until he got into middle school. So he didn’t really feel the pressure of trying to play for Schreiber as a lad.

He modestly said he wasn’t a star on the state championship team.

“I was just one of the guys on the team,” he said. “And we had a lot of good players.”

In the old single class tournament, there was a final four and the Slicers beat Logansport in the semifinal, then Bedford-North Lawrence in the championship. A scout from Indiana University was there to look at another player, but saw this Cotton kid instead.

Jason Cotton was part of La Porte's 1990 state championship team and went on to play for Indiana. His son Logan pitches for Crown Point and is also bound for Bloomington to play for the Hoosiers. (Photo by Steve Hanlon)

One thing led to another and Jason became a Hoosier.

He had a 21-1 pitching record at LaPorte and an earned run average under one, but when he got to Bloomington, things changed. He played three years at first base and was named All-Big Ten and also chosen to the Big Ten All-Tournament team.

He was a captain during the 1995 season.

Then, real life took over.

He worked stocks in Chicago for 13 years. Then he joined the family business, running the auto auction in Dyer that’s been in the Region for generations.

He moved his family to Crown Point 17 years ago and started raising Logan and brother Connor.

But LaPorte was his childhood home, with many friends and family still living there.

After Crown Point’s 3-2 win where he had nine strikeouts, Logan recalled visiting Great Grandma Gi Gi along with other family members. During Wednesday's game at La Porte, Jason touched base with old friends, including former Slicers Athletics Director Dave Parsell.

“When I see all the names on this LaPorte roster, it brings back a lot of memories,” Jason said. “There are a lot of repeat names that have been on this roster for years. I think it’s pretty awesome how good they’ve been for so long.”

While Logan wasn’t shaking with nerves during Tuesday’s game, he, too, knew how his family roots are colored orange and black.

“We spent all the holidays in LaPorte,” Logan said. “One Easter, we got presents. I got a Hoverboard. I remember using it on the driveway, hanging out with everyone. It was a blast. I had a lot of fun.

“I also heard all the stories about how good my dad was.”

More proof of this family classic is that Logan verbally committed to Indiana two weeks ago. With dad’s connections there, Logan attended many camps and the IU staff knew who he was early.

Logan gave up basketball a year ago and focused totally on stickball. He worked very hard to improve everything related to throwing a ball. He gained 15 pounds and his fastball improved from 87 to 91 miles per hour.

“He recently hit 90 for the first time,” Jason said. “He’s worked hard, gotten bigger. And I believe that will continue.”

Logan is 2-0 with Tuesday’s win and has 30 strikeouts in 17 innings.

“I remember hearing about Jason when I got to Boone Grove in ‘93,” Crown Point coach Steve Strayer said. “I heard he has the longest home run ever hit at LaPorte’s field. I heard it went 450 feet.”

He was very impressed by the old man’s son, too.

“Logan pitched his heart out,” Strayer said. “I was very impressed with his effort.”

Jason Cotton does the public address announcing at Crown Point baseball games. On Tuesday, he saw his son Logan pitch the Bulldogs to a win over La Porte, where he was a member of the state champion team in 1990. (Photo by Steve Hanlon)

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