Tuesday, September 29, 2009

World Series for World Class Companies

The Durham Bulls were born of mill town recreation. Early in the last century, the Durham Tobacconists played baseball against the High Point Furniture Makers.

Fast forward to 2009, and the tradition has been revived with a hi-tech twist. The RTP World Series wrapped up earlier this week at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. The players didn’t come from the tobacco, furniture or textile factories…rather from health care research, lab instruments, ag chemicals and pharma. The winning team manufactures LEDs!

Congratulations! ...to Team Cree. Winner of the inaugural RTP WORLD SERIES.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Yet Another Championship

2009 - despite the recession - has become an embarrassment of riches for the Durham Bulls baseball club.

Team USA won the Baseball World Cup Sunday in Nettuno, Italy whippin' Cuba 10-5. (Credit AP for the photo above.)

Bulls' standouts Jon Weber and Jason Childers were on the team. They missed our League and National Championships, but they had a big time in Europe!

(USA Baseball is headquartered in the Durham Bulls Athletic Park)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Triple-A NATIONAL Champions

Blog Update: EJ in HD on WRAL TV5 News. Watch Video!

Extra innings...that's how we roll in Durham...as the Bulls win their division, league and classification championships. What a season! What a feat! Consider what we were up against...so aptly described in this snippet from the mlb.com story:

Since the final week of the regular season, the Bulls had lost their only International League All-Star, outfielder Jon Weber, and relief pitcher Jason Childers (9-6, five saves), to the USA's World Cup team. Tampa Bay has called up seven Durham players since Aug. 31, including home run and RBI leader Chris Richard, wins leader Wade Davis and saves leader Dale Thayer. And in the Bulls' run to the International League's Governors' Cup, they lost Thayer's successor, Winston Abreu, to an aneurysm in his pitching arm. "It's a compliment to the whole team that the guys that stayed back did a helluva job," said Durham manager Charlie Montoyo.

For my scrapbook...

And GM Mike Birling's final "tweets" from the Triple-A Championship game...

Nice work, Mike! Glad they listened to you. Enjoy the flight home. (Our prayers are with the flight attendant.)

Congratulations to Bulls' Manager Charlie Montoyo, the ball club and the Tampa Bay Rays' organization.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Next Up: Bulls on ESPN 2

The International League Champion Durham Bulls play for the Triple-A Championship Tuesday evening in Oklahoma City.

The game - against the Pacific Coast League Champion Memphis Redbirds - will be televised at 7pm on ESPN2.

This is not a series; it's a single game match-up. The pressure is on! ...and it's on national TV! Big stuff!

Back here at home, the Bulls were recognized at the Friday night Carolina Hurricanes pre-season game vs. Nashville at the RBC Center. On Saturday evening, the team made yet another appearance at the NCSU vs. Gardner-Webb game at Carter Finley Stadium. Thanks to Brian Asbill at Wolfpack Sports Marketing for the pix.

Pre-game autograph session in the Wolfpack Fan Zone

Heath Rollins and Elliot Johnson with the big bling - the Governors' Cup

Bulls receive a standing ovation from Wolfpack Nation

Thursday, September 17, 2009


12 innings
3-2 over the Yankees of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
Three game sweep
Our third championship in this decade!

Congratz to skipper Charlie Montoyo and the Bulls!


Our final home game of 2009 was played in a steady rain Wednesday evening, and I want to THANK our ultra-loyal Durham Bulls fans!!! Ponchos. Umbrellas. Muddy players. Wool E. Bull smelled like a wet hound. It wasn't a pretty evening, but the outcome was impressive.

You cheered us on (while razzing the Yankees with gusto) to a 4-1 victory over Scranton/Wilkes-Barre...as the International League Championship Series continues. For the latest news on the Governors' Cup Finals click here.

GO BULLS! Good luck in PA...and bring the Cup back to Durham!!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bulls Play for Championship

The Championship Series is upon us. The Bulls play the Yankees of Scranton-Wilkes Barre for the International League title and the storied Governors' Cup. We begin with home field advantage on Tuesday and Wednesday and the best-of-five series concludes in Pennsylvania.

Stats from MiLB.
Great seats available on-line!

...and here is absolutely everything you need to know about the Championships; six pages from the International League office!

One more thing: You will want to wear your Nike South Division Champs t-shirt:

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Yella Fella

A Capitol Broadcasting alumnus has passed on and we send our condolences to his family in Myrtle Beach.

Dinger "The Home Run Dog" - beset by heart and kidney problems - died this week. The yellow lab was the Myrtle Beach Pelicans beloved mascot. Capitol founded the Pelicans in 1998. The team's first GM, Steve Malliet, persuaded me to buy this very expensive, bred-for-show biz canine. Dinger premiered as a puppy...garnered tons of publicity...and won the hearts of local Pelicans fans and visitors to the Grand Strand.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so we later recruited his relative Scout for the Durham Bulls, and today we count Lucky "The Wonder the Dog" among our mascots.

When we sold the Pelicans several years ago there was a big discussion about who would get custody of Dinger, but I knew he belonged at the beach...in the ballpark. (And I assume he was a fully depreciated asset by then!?!)

Yes, he was a good investment, but Dinger was a truly great dog. Richard Graves penned this tribute:

Dinger was more than a mascot; he became the identifying figure for the Pelicans over his 10 year career. Fans would return for their annual trip to the beach, and one of the first questions they asked when buying tickets was “Do you guys still have that dog that takes balls to the umpire?”

Dinger was not always the most courteous host as he was known to steal the occasional hot dog, pretzel, chicken finger or pretty much anything he could snack on from a poor unsuspecting child that happened to hold it within Dinger’s reach. He didn’t reserve his food theft to just fans; he was also guilty of stealing food from anyone in the office that happened to leave anything within his striking distance. Dinger was friends with anyone, but he quickly became your best friend if you happened to be snacking on something he thought he wanted.

Despite his scavenging charm Dinger did his job and he did it well. He performed his antics on the field without complaints on a nightly basis. Where Dinger may have excelled the most though was in his hospitality duties. He was always open for a pat and belly rub to anyone that would take the time. He would often amaze dog owners that were visiting with his ability to sit and stay with a large number of people being around him and touching him. He was a very patient and tolerant soul.

That patience would have its limits though. One of Dinger’s biggest loves was playing ball. He was obsessive when it came to fetching a ball for anyone that was willing to give it a throw or kick. If you decided to take a break before Dinger was ready he would continue to stare intently at the ball and kick at you until you eventually broke down and resumed the game.

Dinger was never a member of the roster, though he did have his own baseball card, but he was as vital a part of a Pelicans home game as the starting pitcher. Dinger will certainly be missed and his spirit will always be a presence at BB&T Coastal Field.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


The baseball season continues! Up next: the playoffs. We refuse to concede or go quietly as football season begins...at least for a couple more weeks.

The Bulls have captured the South Division Championship in the International League - the best among the IL's four southern clubs: Norfolk, Charlotte, Gwinnett and the Bull City. This is our third consecutive division title and our eighth in twelve seasons of Triple-A ball. The Bulls ended the regular season with a record of 83-61. We've only hit 83 wins once before - in 1999. Congratz to skipper Charlie Montoyo and the Bulls! Check our this story from Daren Smith of MLB.com.

The Bulls will play the Louisville Bats on Wednesday at the DBAP as a best of five series commences. The first two games are in Durham, the remainder in Louisville. The International League web site is a great resource during the playoffs. Here's a look at the match-up:

Join us Wednesday and Thursday at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.