One member of the Larks stands out amongst the rest, and while it could be Edwin Colon’s play on the diamond, it could also be who he is related to and how his experience growing up around the big leagues shaped him as a player.

A name can carry weight, and for a certain era of baseball fans, the name Colon can be associated with a Cy Young-winning pitcher in the big leagues, Bartolo Colon. This summer, the Bismarck Larks have a Colon of their own, his nephew Edwin.

“Since I was a little kid I was always traveling with him to the Angels, Chicago, everywhere he played,” says Colon. “And I see how people see him all the time as a hero. So I want to be like that someday and show the people all the talent I have.”

Bartolo bought Edwin his first glove, and that’s where the love of baseball began for the fifth-year senior, sporting a similar repertoire as his uncle, a fastball-slider combo, and recently a cutter just like Colon’s.

“He always told me never give up, work the hardest you can every day and be like a pro-type to everybody, and try to help as much people as you can,” says Colon. “Always learn, and speak less.”

Colon has stepped up into a critical role for the Larks this year, a high-leverage pitcher that is used to get out of the biggest jams.

“He has no fear,” says head coach Will Flynt. “He’ll go out there, I can put him in bases loaded as a vet. He’s a 5th-year senior. I can put him in their bases loaded and I have. He’s got a killer slider and he just competes. And he wants to go at it, he wants to play pro ball.”

And if he keeps pitching well in the Northwoods, that can be a real possibility. It’s a zen-like approach to every pitch that gives him the edge.

“It can be a fan or a player,” says Colon. “Or it can just be the tree or the light. I just look to distract myself and I just go. And it’s been helping me a lot in being successful with that.”

And although he is Bartolo’s nephew, Edwin knows carving his own path through baseball is important.

“These guys treat him like any other dude,” says Flynt. “It’s very cool. If they got a question and they want to do it, he doesn’t have a problem answering but these guys really don’t care, and I mean that in a good way. He’s our dude, he’s one of our guys. I’m glad you’re uncle is a big leaguer but we love Edwin. That’s how these guys are.”