“For it to be this close to home and with the RedHawks, it’s a godsend"; Park River native Will Zimmerman living out professional dream playing in home state

Will Zimmerman almost gave up on playing baseball, but this summer RedHawks manager Chris Coste gave the Park River native the opportunity to live out his dream playing professionally.

Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks outfielder Will Zimmerman leaves the dugout at Newman Outdoor Field. David Samson / The Forum

FARGO-- Park River native Will Zimmerman knows success. He was a three sport athlete in high school, even helping guide the Aggies to its first state baseball tournament. Once turning to play college baseball though, Will was losing the love for the game. Until one phone call this spring changed everything.

“I have been all over the country and everything is just kind of coming back around and hopefully I have found a pretty good spot to settle in here for a while,” said Zimmerman.

Will Zimmerman’s road to wearing a RedHawks uniform wasn’t easy, even if he had a taste when he first started swinging the bat.


“I remember the first time I had heard of them (the RedHawks)I had to be about six or eight years old and they were having one of their camps down here and my brother and I came,” said Zimmerman.

Nearly two decades later, Will returns to Newman Outdoor Field. This time around, he’s hoping to be here for the long haul.

“I really had no idea what pro ball was really like until I got here (Fargo). It was always a dream when I was a kid to eventually play pro ball one day one day. I had no idea who it was going to be for, where it was going to be,” said Zimmerman.

After starting his collegiate career at Arkansas State, Will broke his hand. A moment that very nearly made him give up his dream.

“I couldn’t even hold a bat at that point, then it was pretty close to the end of the year and I couldn’t play the rest of the year after that. I guess I wasn’t too happy at this point and I left there and told the coaches I wasn’t planning on coming back. I left there (Arkansas State) with kind of the intent that I just wasn't going to play baseball anymore. I wanted to be done, find a job, then I ended up working for the summer and hating my job,” said Zimmerman.

After returning to North Dakota for a year, Will knew that he had more to give the game he was so passionate about. So he picked up the phone and called University of Minnesota-Crookston Head Coach, Steve Gust.

“It was actually like two days before school started I decided to call up Coach Gust and see if he still had a kind enough spot to give me a spot and he did, so I’m thankful for that,” said Zimmerman.

“I’ve always told Will that if things didn’t work out down south, that he always had a place to play with us. I think he kept that in the back of his head the whole time. We talked about it as a staff, could we take another guy? But it’s Will Zimmerman, of course we can,” said Gust.


When Will’s collegiate career ended last month, it was time for Coach Gust to return the favor. It was an opportunity to get Will back in the game.

“I really lucked out there getting that call. He said that Chris Coste, manager of the Fargo RedHawks is looking for a guy, so he might be giving you a call, he might not. Then not even 30 seconds later, I got a call from Coste and said they needed a player for the night. I said absolutely, I said when’s game time,” said Zimmerman.

What Will thought would be one game, is turning a full season in the American Association.

“I thought wow the stars are kind of lining up right now,” said Zimmerman.

A simple phone call is giving this North Dakota native a chance to live out his dream where it all started.

“I would never bet against Will Zimmerman,” said Gust.

“For it to be this close to home and with the RedHawks, it’s a godsend, it's unbelievable,” said Zimmerman.

Will is becoming a big part of the RedHawks rotation. He’s hit .299 on the season with three home runs. He says the biggest thing is having family being able to come to a majority of his games in Fargo as well.


Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks’ Will Zimmerman sprints to third base before completing the RedHawks’ first run of the game against the Chicago Dogs on Tuesday, June 22, 2021, at Newman Outdoor Field in Fargo. Alyssa Goelzer / The Forum

What To Read Next
Get Local