Chris Stanford for ESPN.com
"Are you mad?"
"Then why don't you take your frustrations out? I want you to try and knock me over."
Ten-year-old Logan threw each one of the next 50 pitches harder than the last, willing them with all his might to bowl over his father. Tom didn't give an inch. The extra work came after Logan, a left-handed pitcher, had been infuriated by an umpire he thought had been squeezing the strike zone during a game that day.
As they walked to their car, Tom saw the umpires still in the parking lot, lingering.
Go give the men in blue a message, Tom told Logan.
"I want you to say, 'Thank you -- thank you for making me better.'"
So Logan did. Then the Morrisons went home.
Wilmington, N.C., was just one of a few stops for Logan. Tom was in the Coast Guard, a military man who, in Logan's early years, would be absent for long stretches of time while at sea. An only child, Logan looked up to Tom, feared him and was driven by him. Tom's parents had given him little guidance, but he knew he wanted his son to be a better person than he was, and he wanted his son to have pride, leadership and discipline. Logan being a good person off the field was paramount to Tom.
Tom parented the way he thought best.
Courtesy of the Morrison family
Logan pitching from the mound he, Tom and his mother built.
During baseball traveling tournaments, Tom almost always segregated Logan from the other players by staying at a different hotel than the rest of the team. Tom's reason: He knew the boys would keep each other up late with horseplay. Logan, though, would be well-rested, fresh and ready to play; the others, sluggish and at a competitive disadvantage.
"He was the right kid for Dad, and it worked out," Tom said in an interview before he died. "It could have been a disaster. It worked, just the right kid for the approach I had."
That approach included building a mound in their backyard in Wilmington. Logan's mother, Diane, Logan and Tom took dirt and clay and built that mound with their hands. Often, as part of his chores, Logan and his cousin, Tony Malbrough, living with the Morrisons at the time, would have to complete 100 throws without dropping the ball.
Tony, two years older than Logan and a few inches shorter, easily was the inferior player. Usually, he would be the one who dropped throws. That sometimes meant a lap around the yard but almost always a reset of the 100.
"Come on, Logina and Tanyon," Tom would say, calling the boys by female monikers. "It's like two girls throwing underhand."
As harsh as Tom could be, Tony noticed that Logan usually did not rebel.
"He was definitely more than a father," says Tony, now 26 and in the Coast Guard. "He was a mentor, kind of like a guidance counselor. He was always telling Logan what's right in life and what's not."
Tom was a great motivator, says Logan's childhood friend and teammate Chris Bass. He would get in Logan's head, always knocking him down a peg when he saw Logan showing too much emotion -- highs or lows.
"Get your head out of your ass, Logan!" Tom would tell Logan when he returned to the dugout with his head down after striking out.
"He'd use a lot of three- or four-letter words," Chris says. "A lot of people don't want to use profane language, but my dad used it with me, too, and it definitely toughened me up."
Raised in Kansas City, Mo., Tom never had much self-confidence, never felt truly loved by his parents. He could be abrasive, opinionated and tough. The "no excuses" coda was seared in Logan's mind, even if it made him hate his father at times.
Diane was no pushover, either. A single mother during the early years when Tom was often at sea, Diane usually agreed with Tom's approach, even if others sometimes voiced their disapproval.
"I never questioned why," Diane says. "I just knew Tom wanted [Logan] to be the best he could. And Tom was using his own personal life's history to make it happen."
Courtesy of the Morrison family
Financing Logan's baseball career drove Tom to the brink of bankrupting his family. The buckets of 200 baseballs, the bats, gloves, clay dirt mound, all the traveling camps and teams. The Ford Excursion SUV he bought, thousands of dollars in gas shuttling Logan to camps and tournaments -- all of it added up.
When Tom was transferred to New Orleans, he reversed a promise he had made that Logan could finish high school in Kansas City, in part because he knew there were more baseball scouts in the South. Logan, 16, was furious and rebelled, leaving a dummy in his bed at night and hanging out with older kids whom Tom deemed troublemakers.
"Drinking down here is bad," Tom said. "I had to threaten a couple of his friends. I don't think [Logan] ever knew about it -- I was serious."
In spite of the decreased social life, the parental interference and the missed proms, sleepovers and normal vacations, Logan turned out to be a social, outgoing kid, one who made friends easily, the byproduct of being an only child and a military brat.
Yet amid the tension between father and son, some seminal moments between them stood out. One of the strongest came in Wilmington, when he was 10, on the same field where Tom dared Logan to knock him down. One night, Tom handed Logan a wooden bat and told him he'd give him a $100 bill when he hit his first home run with it.
The memory is seared into Logan's mind: the fusing of bravado, love, incentive and challenge. Logan was asked and expected to handle a grown man's instrument; Tom had confidence that his son could do it.