The Badlands Big Sticks formerly competed in the summer-collegiate Independence League in 2022 and were one of seven teams to break away from the summer-collegiate Expedition League to form the Independence League, which later had its own issues.
Badlands becomes the third Northwoods League team in North Dakota, joining Minot and Bismarck. The reference to Big Sticks comes from the period Theodore Roosevelt (“speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far”) spent cattle ranching and bison hunting in the region; nearby Medora features Theodore Roosevelt National Park, which encompasses his ranch spread in what was then Dakota Territory. The team plays out of Dakota Community Bank & Trust Ballpark.
“We are delighted to welcome the Badlands Big Sticks to the Northwoods League,” said Northwoods League President and Commissioner Ryan Voz via press release. “Their inclusion further strengthens the League’s reputation for showcasing outstanding baseball talent while fostering a strong connection with local communities.”
The addition puts the Northwoods League at 24 teams. Last season the league played with 23 teams a and a Minnesota Mud Puppies travel team.
“The Big Sticks have become a staple for Dickinson and the surrounding communities during our short summer window in North Dakota,” said Big Sticks owner Dave Ouellette via press release. “Adding the Bismarck Larks and Minot Hot Tots to our in-state rivalries now will be a huge score for all three of those communities and especially Dickinson. This will give the local fans, host families and businesses more opportunities at Dickinson’s Dakota Community Bank and Trust Ballpark with a longer 36 home game schedule and make some easier road trip travels for them to watch their boys on the road as well. We are very excited to see the additional exposure and national recognition that the NWL brings with the number of teams and the ESPN+ broadcasts that get aired. We feel like this is a win/win situation for the NWL, North Dakota teams and most specifically the Community of Dickinson and we can’t wait!”
Speaking of the Northwoods League: the circuit unveiled new branding for the 2024 season that incorporates both the baseball and softball parts of the league.
The logos were designed by Tony Horning of Chanhassen, MinN. Tony Previously designed the NWL Divisional Logos, Minnesota Mud Puppies re-brand, and projects for the Willmar Stingers.
“These logos are more than just symbols; they represent the heart and soul of the Northwoods League,” said Northwoods League President Ryan Voz via press release. “Our commitment to excellence and the love for the game is embodied in every aspect of these designs. We believe they capture the essence of our league, and we can’t wait to share them with our fans, players, and communities.”