fbpx
Favorites

© 2022 BVM Sports. Best Version Media, LLC.

Favorites

Larks doing their part to help community while gearing up for uncertain season

The Bismarck Larks, members of the Northwoods League since 2017, are doing their part to help the local Bismarck and Mandan communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Courtesy: John Bollinger)

BISMARCK, N.D. (BVM) — The Bismarck Larks are part of the Northwoods League, one of the best summer developmental college baseball leagues in the country. The league is based in the Midwest with 22 teams, many of which have included future MLB players. Since their inaugural season back in the summer of 2017, the Larks have become a beloved part of the Bismarck community.

“I never could have expected in a million years how amazing and supportive the Bismarck and Mandan communities are,” Larks general manager John Bollinger said. “I mean they love their baseball, they love their sports, but they also love their community; they love their town.”

They have also helped the Larks sell out of a majority of their home games each season.

“In our first year we sold out 27 our first 36 games,” Bollinger said. “Last year, we sold out 97% of every single ticket we had.”

Along with the support of the community, the Larks can attribute their success to quality baseball and a focus on making sure their fans have fun.

“We’re in the fun business,” Bollinger said.

And right now, their work is needed. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Larks are trying to help the community that has welcomed them with open arms.

”Our job is how we spread the fun and that’s been our campaign,” Bollinger added.

On March 31 they hosted their Winter Warm Up event on Facebook live with guest Minnesota Twins president Dave St. Peter.

“We ended up having in 24 hours over like 2,100 views on that which is even more than a large game,” Bollinger said.

Since then, they have continued to try and give families alternative options for entertainment as people stay in their homes and away from others to prevent the spread of COVID-19. They’ve hosted events like ‘Hamster Ball Bingo’ on their Facebook page and have done a puzzle challenge.

“It’s going digital to keep fans entertained and the second thing we are doing is working with our sponsors and saying ‘hey fans help them out at this time’,” Bollinger said. “We are trying to use fun to make a difference.”

 

Happy National Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day!It’s never been easier to rock your PJs all day.If you’re celebrating, comment with a picture!#NationalDayCalendar#PajamaDay

Posted by Bismarck Larks on Thursday, April 16, 2020

Not only have they ordered food from local restaurants, they have also done campaigns that were planned for the summer in April to help restaurants have a little more cash available for this troubling time.

“All of this is helping our community get through this together,” Bollinger said.

The Northwoods League is still planning to start their season on time on May 26, but is prepared to adjust that based on health officials suggestions. Either way, this season is already gearing up to be a unique one, and not just because of the pandemic.

Each team is being allowed an extra five players on their rosters, making the roster 35 players deep. These are going to be collegiate players that have completely missed their baseball season because of the pandemic. They’re hungry for some playing time and for many it will be a chance to showcase their talent for the MLB or have that final season that seniors may have just missed.

“You can tell guys just want to play,” Bollinger said. “Players want to be here, they want to get at bats and they want to get throws in; they want to get ready for fall ball or to get looked at by scouts. … If we can be there to help them get that experience and get that playing time, that’s why we’re doing everything we can to ensure that we get the season in.”

Of course, the season is not guaranteed, but even with the uncertainty, the Larks are hoping for the best and planning for the worst. No matter what happens, they know that they will get through this together.

“We know our community will be there for us,” Bollinger said. “And I think with this whole thing what it has shown me is while this stinks for everyone that has been affected, if we all do the right thing and we stick together we’re going to get through this and we’re going to be stronger.”

Get local sports news direct to your inbox

Originals

more
Louisville commit Nick Drtina leads Nazareth to championship

Louisville commit Nick Drtina leads Nazareth to championship

Louisville commit Nick Drtina led a young and talented Nazareth Academy team to new heights…

Matthew Etzel’s DI dreams come true thanks to Panola

Matthew Etzel’s DI dreams come true thanks to Panola

Matthew Etzel’s dream of playing DI baseball is coming true.

Will Levis’ QB origin story to being a Kentucky Wildcat

Will Levis’ QB origin story to being a Kentucky Wildcat

Will Levis has become the face of the Kentucky football program and a potential first-round…

Atalyia Rijo bringing star-power to Arkansas softball

Atalyia Rijo bringing star-power to Arkansas softball

The top-ranked softball player in the state of New York and recent Gatorade Player of…

Isaac Howard excited for NHL Draft before UMD hockey debut

Isaac Howard excited for NHL Draft before UMD hockey debut

Isaac Howard has one stop at the 2022 NHL Draft before he heads to Duluth…

Brooks Lee brings San Luis Obispo pride to MLB Draft

Brooks Lee brings San Luis Obispo pride to MLB Draft

Brooks Lee has become a role model in his hometown of San Luis Obispo. With…

Arch Manning, No. 1 recruit in 2023 class, commits to Texas

Arch Manning, No. 1 recruit in 2023 class, commits to Texas

Arch Manning announced on Twitter that he will be continuing his football career at the…

Evan Chaffee making jump to Alabama, SEC baseball

Evan Chaffee making jump to Alabama, SEC baseball

Evan Chaffee's journey from Hamburg to becoming an Alabama baseball commit heavily involved Vanderbilt, an…

Dakota Jordan ‘ready to work’ for Mississippi State baseball

Dakota Jordan ‘ready to work’ for Mississippi State baseball

Mississippi State baseball recruit Dakota Jordan is ready to electrify in Starkville.

Karlyn Pickens ready for ‘perfect match’ with Tennessee

Karlyn Pickens ready for ‘perfect match’ with Tennessee

Karlyn Pickens was a tremendous three-sport athlete at North Buncombe High School who helped lead…