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The Ross Report: Bison Baseball: FM’s Best Kept Secret

In his monthly column, Ross Uglem explains why Bison baseball is the best-kept secret in the Fargo-Moorhead area for families and baseball fans alike.

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Photo By Nolan P. Schmidt

When I got married last August, I was fortunate enough to also receive an instant family.  I went from a bachelor who was correctly given almost no responsibilities by anyone to someone who is occasionally charged with keeping four young humans alive.

 

Aside from the obvious adjustment in lifestyle, one of the things you find out quickly about children is that they are expensive.  More specifically, they make everything you used to do more expensive. The movies might have been a $20 adventure before. That life is no longer a reality. Neither is a Bison football game, the grocery store, going out to eat (especially if there’s an arcade) or really any kind of travel.

If you are of my vintage, (turned 31 at the end of April), you may have kids and you may appreciate this: for less than two $20 bills I was able to bring four children to the game, buy two hot dogs, two orders of nachos, M&Ms, a Coke and a bottled water. We sat in the first row right behind the dugout in a beautiful minor league ballpark.

As I watched Fargo’s own Carter Thompson hit one out to left in the second inning, I thought to myself: “Why aren’t there more people here?”

It was partly cloudy, but it was 66 degrees and one of the first truly nice spring evenings.  Granted, it was weeknight and the opponent (Dakota State) didn’t exactly light up the marquee, but it was an awesome night to be at the park.

From what I saw, the Bison play an entertaining brand of baseball. They were aggressive on the basepaths, the pitchers pounded the strike zone (no walks in 8 innings) and the hitters played good defense and were unafraid to swing for the fences. If you ever get a chance to meet and interact with Head Coach Tod Brown, a Fargo family man, he’s quite entertaining as well.

Bison baseball might not be currently enjoying the level of success of football, or even it’s softball counterpart, on the diamond this season. However, they have reached the pinnacle of mid-major baseball under Brown before. The 2014 Bison won the Summit League and were part of the playoffs for the College World Series. The CWS, played in within-driving-distance in Omaha, Nebraska, is perhaps the only event the NCAA has that rivals March Madness in terms of raw excitement.

Part of what brings that excitement is the “anything can happen on any given night” aspect of college baseball. Since 2011, the Bison have defeated Arizona, Minnesota, Navy and Kansas. That includes a 2016 victory over the Gophers at Newman Outdoor Field when the Maroon and Gold were nationally ranked inside the top 20.

There’s also a decided local flavor in Bison baseball. 26 of the 33 student-athletes on the roster either hail from North Dakota, South Dakota or Minnesota. Coach Brown also added two North Dakotans to the roster on signing day this spring.

So head to the park. Grab your kids, grab a date, grab your buddies. You’re going to love the concession prices, especially if you’ve been to a major league park. No, there’s no beer, but there is high-quality baseball, a beautiful venue and a sense of community.

Take you out to the ballgame.

The Ross Report: Bison Baseball: FM’s Best Kept Secret
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