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Klieman speaks to St. Louis Cardinals staff, gets another first pitch appearance in return

FARGO-The pitch was a little high and off the plate, although Chris Klieman scoffed at the notion the ball was headed toward the backstop. He did admit, however, he wasn't loose in throwing out the first pitch at a St. Louis Cardinals baseball ga...

North Dakota State head football coach Chris Klieman, shown throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before a June 4 Minnesota Twins game at Target Field, also threw out the first pitch at a St. Louis Cardinals game, Wednesday, June 29. Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
North Dakota State head football coach Chris Klieman, shown throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before a June 4 Minnesota Twins game at Target Field, also threw out the first pitch at a St. Louis Cardinals game, Wednesday, June 29. Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

FARGO-The pitch was a little high and off the plate, although Chris Klieman scoffed at the notion the ball was headed toward the backstop. He did admit, however, he wasn't loose in throwing out the first pitch at a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game.

"I was standing around all day," said Klieman, who threw out that pitch on Wednesday, June 29, at Busch Stadium.

For about an hour, anyway, he was standing in front of members of the Cardinals organization speaking about leadership and culture, something the head football coach at North Dakota State has done about 10 times this year. It came at the invitation of performance coach Ben Newman, who works with the Cardinals and was in Fargo in April to speak at the Bison Showcase.

Klieman told Newman he goes to St. Louis every summer, in which Newman approached Klieman about speaking to the St. Louis front office sales staff.
"I said, 'Yeah, as long as I get to throw out the first pitch,'" Klieman said. "I said it in jest."

It was no joke to Newman, who didn't take long in confirming the request.

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Hopefully the cards don't have to call to the bullpen tonight #ball4 #SCNotTop10 pic.twitter.com/ljZKMvIfHd - Devin Klieman (@DevinKlieman) June 30, 2016

The status of being a head coach for a five-time Division I FCS national champion carries some expertise in how to accomplish it. Newman said Klieman hit the speech out of the park.

"People were tremendously engaged," Newman said. "And he was tremendously prepared just as he is every Saturday. He did a great job in explaining the Bison culture and what makes it successful. One of the things that was most powerful about it is how the culture and high-level of expectations of what the Cardinals have are so similar to what the Bison have."

He spoke during the afternoon and threw the first pitch before the 7:15 p.m. game.

Klieman also threw out the first pitch at a Minnesota Twins game earlier this season, in a day when the Twins honored the Bison football team. In that respect, Klieman has thrown out just as many pitches as Barack Obama has done in his two terms as president-two.

"They were two pretty cool experiences," Klieman said. "They are two things I thought I'd never get a chance to do."

A video of the Cardinals' first pitch was posted on Newman's Twitter account, and if it was thrown to a right-handed batter, it would have gone behind him.

"The guys were telling me not to bounce it," Klieman said.

Related Topics: CHRIS KLIEMAN
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