I've been in holiday hibernation mode - too much snacking and napping - but it's back-to-work now at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Opening Day is a mere 95 days away. (Monday, April 10th, vs. Charlotte Knights)
Wintertime baseball begins on February 24th when Duke has it's first home series with Army on Goodmon Field. So, baseball is really just 50 days away!
Still, looking back on 2016 is a worthwhile distraction. Our Communications Director Matt Sutor compiled a Top 10 list. Stroll down Memory Lane w/Matt...
Of course, I have my own list...gotta have the last word...
2016 community projects:
- The work of Durham's Local Organizing Committee for the ACC Baseball Championship in May led by Casey Steinbacher and Bill Kalkhof.
- Our sponsorship of the Jackie Robinson documentary by Ken Burns on WUNC-TV.
- A partnership with The Museum of Durham History on its vintage baseball card exhibit.
- Formation of the Durham Sports Commission.
Always tweaking the ballpark:
- We completed a new clubhouse for Duke's baseball team.
- Expanded our protective netting.
- Built the Delta Playground 42 game area on Jackie's Landing.
Beyond the ball yard:
- WRAL TV5 covered the Rays' historic MLB game in Cuba and the July 3rd Ft. Bragg game between the Braves and Marlins.
- Here in the front office, we assisted with Fayetteville's work to land a Minor League team.
- We were so proud of Bulls broadcaster Patrick Kinas, tapped to work the Rio Olympics.
- Durham police officers dancing on our diamond.
- The giant Angus Barn steak sandwich and new summertime ice cream floats.
A final reflection:
Twenty seasons ago, the Bulls jumped from Class A Advanced in the Carolina League to Triple A International League baseball. It was a true game changer, another tipping point for our organization and downtown Durham. We will celebrate that anniversary - the ball club's 1998 affiliation with the Tampa Bay Rays - throughout the 2017 season. Join us!