Corey Bogan of Mechanicsburg High School has been selected as the recipient of the 2017 Harvey Haddix Memorial Sportsmanship Award, sponsored by the Daily Citizen and the Cincinnati Reds. Bogan will attend an upcoming Reds game and throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
“When (my brother) Matt won it and let me catch the pitch, I really wanted that. It’s been a goal of mine to win it and it’s pretty satisfying,” Bogan said.
Following in Haddix’s foot steps by exhibiting great sportsmanship, local high school senior baseball players were chosen as finalists for the award. The winning selection is based in part on nominations from coaches and essays written by the nominees.
Other finalists included Urbana’s Seth Mangus, West Liberty-Salem’s Chase Humphrey and Triad’s Alec Ober.
For baseball lovers, local legend Harvey Haddix pitched one game that defined excellence at the position. In a career that saw 136 wins and 1,575 strikeouts coupled with an earned run average of 3.63 and 99 complete games, Haddix threw a (nearly) perfect game on May 26, 1959.
Dominating the lineup with just a fastball and a slider, Haddix hurled 12 innings of perfect baseball, retiring 36 consecutive batters for the Pittsburgh Pirates in a game against the Milwaukee Braves that day. The Pirates lost, 1-0, in the 13th inning.
“I could have put a cup on either corner of the plate and hit it,” Haddix said of the game.
Although the Pirates were a Major League non-factor for decades after their 1979 world title and the Braves have since moved to Atlanta and been replaced by the Brewers, one thing has remained unchanged: Haddix was known for his sportsmanship.
He was a likable man with a laid-back attitude that made him a fan favorite. And there were a lot of fans in a career that stretched from St. Louis to Baltimore, making stops in Philadelphia, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh along the way.
Bogan follows that tradition today with his exemplary behavior.
“He is an individual that is well-respected by other players and coaches in the OHC due to his leadership and sportsmanship traits,” MHS Coach Bryan Eyink said. “He comes from a great family upbringing and his brother Matt was the Harvey Haddix Award winner in 2014. I can’t think of another student athlete who is more deserving than Corey.”
Bogan, a three-sport athlete, earned First Team OHC all-conference honors and all-area second team honors as a senior in baseball and was a state wrestling participant. He was inducted as a member of the National Honor Society with a 3.6 GPA and plans to attend Clark State to get an associates degree in business management before transferring to a four-year institution and finishing another degree, then search for a career.
“Whatever it is, it’s got to be something that I’m passionate about,” Bogan said.
He’ll have time to decide and a good foundation on which to build, having learned the values of class and sportsmanship.
“My family was the main cause. It’s all about how you bounce back if you lose and respecting your opponent and the game you’re playing,” he said.
Reach Justin Miller at 652-1331 (ext. 1776) or on Twitter @UDC_Miller.