The Badlands Big Sticks home is Cody Maier’s home, literally.
The Dickinson native played his high school and legion baseball at Dakota Community Bank & Trust Ballpark which is where he is playing this summer with the Big Sticks.
The freshman at Concordia-St. Paul played in only four games this spring and appeared at the plate three times making this his first meaningful action since last summer as a Dickinson Roughrider.
“We played a little (this spring) but not a lot. This spring was just me working on stuff and practicing,” he said. “It was a perfect scenario to come back and be with a great team in my hometown. I live at home and it is a perfect set up.”
Maier drove in runs in each of the Big Sticks' first two games in the designated hitter role, and he said that he is trying to not do too much at the plate and that he just wants to keep it simple.
Big Sticks head coach Billy Tomblin was impressed with Maier’s grit in the opening series of the season and hopes to see his role expand throughout the season.
“Cody did a nice job (in the season opening series). He found a way to get some hits and get on base. It is one of those things that when you are resilient, then you will find a way. It might not look pretty or be pretty, but the RBI he had was a broken bat. He doesn’t have to always be pretty,” Tomblin said. “You can break to bat and still find a way to be a helping hand in what we are doing.”
Tomblin also thinks it is a unique situation where kids from all over the country are flocking to Dickinson and the Expedition League to play baseball, but Maier gets to live at home for the summer.
Along with Maier, Tomblin has been excited to the start of the season for all of the young guys on the team.
Having very little college experience has not deterred Maier and several others from getting thrown right into the fire.
“There are a few kids in his situation…,” Tomblin said. “We got a few young guys with what you would say not a ton of college experience, but I think all of our young kids have done a great job with not being scared or intimidated. They play fearless and that is a great quality to have as a young player.”
Whatever comes next, Maier is thankful for the chance to play ball and he wants to leave home and head back to Minnesota this fall as a better player.
“I want to learn a lot from guys all over the country and coaches,” he said. “I just want to become a better player.”