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April 10th, 2009 by Temple City Tribune
The City of Arcadia has proclaimed Sunday, April 19 as “Eddie Logan Day” in honor of Santa Anita’s iconic shoeshine attendant who passed away on Jan. 31 at the age of 98. Logan, a self-proclaimed “Footman,” ran his Santa Anita shoeshine stand from opening day, Dec. 25, 1934, until the morning of Jan. 3, when he suffered a seizure and stroke from which he never recovered. Born in 1910, he would have been 99 on May 20.
Santa Anita will also unveil a beautiful oversized bronze relief plaque in Logan’s image on April 19, with an inscription that captures the essence of what he meant to The Great Race Place over a span of eight decades. The plaque will be unveiled in a winner’s circle ceremony and will be installed for permanent display in the area overlooking his long-time work area adjacent to the racing office.
“There really has been a tangible void here since Eddie’s passing,” said Santa Anita President Ron Charles. “He meant so much to all of us who were in contact with him and we still have fans asking about him. When he had the stroke, we made a decision to leave his shoeshine stand vacant until he returned and then we decided to leave it unattended for the remainder of the meet, out of respect.
“We are very proud of the plaque and we think it’s only fitting that it overlook the area where he brought so much joy and professionalism for so many years. It will become a permanent part of Santa Anita, just as the Kingsbury Fountain and the Seabiscuit monument in the paddock gardens area are. We’re confident Eddie’s family, friends and all of those who knew or heard of him are going to treasure this for all-time.”
A former boxer and professional baseball player, Logan was blessed with remarkably good health and an infectious smile. As recently as two years ago, he shadow-boxed for camera crews and regaled them with stories about his time spent in baseball’s Negro Leagues in the 1920s and early ‘30s.
Logan would often lecture horsemen about the care of their boots and shoes and perils the stable area presented for leather. “Salt, brace, alkali and urine,” were invariably cited as primary enemies of the leather he so skillfully treated.
“He had that great sense of humor and he’d make you laugh,” said Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella. “He’d talk about his days with the Kansas City Monarchs and he was just full of life. He said his dad always told him, ‘Keep your mouth shut and your eyes open, and you’ll learn something.’ I hope Santa Anita maintains his shoeshine stand forever, he was one of a kind.”
Photos by Terry Miller