As a sponsor of both the Bismarck Larks and the Bismarck Municipal Ballpark, Home of Dakota Community Bank & Trust Field, Dakota Community Bank & Trust (DCB&T) had partnered with the Larks for the Kid’s Fastest Pitch Contest. Held every Saturday during their baseball season, kids ages seven through 13 received a chance to line up on the mound and throw one pitch. Winners of both boys and girls were broken up into three age groups 7-8, 9-11, and 12-13.
In its first year, the 2018 overall winner of the event was Bismarck’s own 13 year old Carter Krueger. The Krueger family are big Bismarck Larks fans and had taken in several local games during the season as they had seven-game ticket packs. Carter’s mother Germain was able to tell of the family’s overall experience with the Kid’s Fastest Pitch Contest. After getting all the clocked speeds for the children who participated, DCB&T President Dale Pahlke called up the Krueger family letting them know they had won a family of four trip to a Minnesota Twins game courtesy of DCB&T. The family attended that game in May of 2019.
“Carter has played baseball since t-ball and is now competitive in town and has traveled since he was 10. The pitch that he threw was right around 68 miles per hour and he was just super proud. That night was a fun night. It was fun because they weren’t expecting that speed at all from a kid. The guy that was catching wasn’t a Larks player, it was one of their marketing guys and it kind of scared him a bit. He goes “Whoa, I wasn’t ready for that.’ And he wasn’t,” laughs Krueger. Because Carter had never had a pitch clocked before, he had no idea how fast he threw or what kind of arm strength he had.
Noting that family time is sometimes hard to come by with children busy in extra-curriculars, Krueger noted, “We really had a blast. The trip was a bit out of ordinary for our family. We don’t get to do things like that so it was a really special treat for our kids. The game was fun. The seats were great. The hotel was right down the block.” Krueger notes that baseball is Carter’s passion and how winning the Kid’s Fastest Pitch Contest was somewhat of a validation for Carter. “It was awesome to see him out there. Having that opportunity, to get out on the big field, you could see his confidence grow when he threw that pitch. Because he knew that he had done really well, especially when he saw his speed on the gun,” recalls Krueger.
Krueger is so thankful for the experience that this had on Carter and the entire family. This was Carter’s third time ever attending a Minnesota Twins game, but it was really the first game since he was old enough to develop a personal passion for baseball.
In closing, Krueger states, “Dakota Community Bank & Trust has backed so many activities, even many that our own kids are in, with sponsorships and such. They are anywhere we go – the Bismarck Larks, the 4th of July parade, the rodeo, and all of the stuff that they do for Bismarck really make us know they really care about the people around them and they want to be a part of the community. The impact they have on Bismarck is huge.” Not only did winning this contest boost Carter’s own confidence and love for the game, but it also made an impact on Carter because he was then able to treat his family to an experience and a trip to the cities.
Written by Lindsey Hefta, Marketing Director