Friday, October 29, 2010

Election Day Looms Large

Let's take a break from the World Series and football to consider our civic duty: Election Day is Tuesday.

Have the tedious, nasty campaign ads turned you off? Snap out of it! !!!VOTE!!! Whether or not there's a seismic power shift in Congress, you should exercise your personal power at the polls. Concerned about the subterfuge of campaign financing? Cast your own secret ballot.

I liken this to choosing a fantasy team. Do a little research this weekend...make your picks...and get your results Tuesday night. (It seems I have thirteen little known state judges and two obscure reps from the Soil and Water Conservation District on my active roster!?! This is hard.)

Here's an excellent web site to help with those picks:

You enter your county of residence and the web site lists all the applicable races and candidates...with links to their bios. Check it out. It's the Yahoo! Fantasy Sports of electoral politics.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Huff, Hamilton & the World Series

Of course, I'm disappointed that the Rays aren't in the World Series, but we can't lose now.

Raleigh's Josh Hamilton plays for Texas, and Aubrey Huff of the Giants played for the Bulls at the beginning of this decade. I have some shots of our memorabilia...

Clean-shaven Aubrey Huff in a Bulls' uniform. Aubrey made his Durham debut in 2000, leading the team with a .316 batting average while blasting 20 home runs and collecting 76 RBI. He earned a spot on the International League All-Star Team and Rookie of the Year honors in the IL. This is his locker nameplate from the All-Star game in Rochester:

Huff returned to Durham for the first month of the 2001 season but was called up to Tampa Bay after 17 games. Here's some trivia from Bulls' Media Relations Director Matt DeMargel: Aubrey returned to Durham to begin the 2002 season, but he was injured when a line-drive struck him in the head during the batting practice portion of Meet the Team Day! He was activated on April 24th and appeared in 32 games with the Bulls...was called up to Tampa...and the rest is MLB history for Aubrey.

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Josh Hamilton never played in a game for the Bulls during his time in the Rays' organization, but we did this bobble-head promotion. I saw one on eBay Monday evening for $39.95!

Here's the good stuff...
99.9 The Fan staged a charity event for Josh's Triple Play Ministries in 2008, and I got carried away at the auction with my company credit card. (Can you really go overboard at a charity event?) So, the Bulls own one of Hamilton's bats from the 2008 All-Star Game and a Nolan Ryan jersey.

You won't find these gems on eBay! Stop by the DBAP and take a look...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

More Miranda...

Check out the time lapse video. This supersedes the previous post.

It includes set-up and tear-down. Remarkable!!!

The same can be said for our staff. It's not like we handed this off to a contractor. Over 36 very intense hours, they knocked themselves out. There's no business like show the Bull City.

The Miranda Lambert concert afforded yet another video production opportunity to Bulls' Explorer Post 50. The students handled technical directing and camera work for the giant video screen.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Miranda Lambert Wins in Durham!

Five thousand Miranda Lambert fans took possession of the the Durham Bulls infield Thursday evening...

...and they were possessed by the rising star from east Texas. Her avid admirers seemed to know each and every word of every one of her songs!

It was a BIG night at the DBAP - our first country concert in a town better known for the blues - but the ballpark was rockin' to Josh Kelly, Eric Church and Miranda Lambert as the CMT Tour stopped in Durham.

Eric Church rocks the DBAP

My Miranda Lambert autograph

Bulls' GM Mike Birling, last in line for the meet & greet

The concert Bulls' jerseys:

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Cover Your Grass

10/14 @ noon: This just in...
Time lapse video of field/stage set-up from Bulls' media guru John Blotzer:

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Preparation has begun for Thursday night's Miranda Lambert Concert. You can watch the transformation on our web cam. CLICK HERE...frequently...over the next day. You will be amazed at the conversion from baseball diamond to outdoor concert venue. Nashville comes to downtown Durham!

Step One: Cover the field. The NC State Turfgrass Student Club is helping us install a protective flooring system...sort of a giant Legoland. This is good experience for the students. They learn how to grow grass at State while we offer a serious, real-world lesson in "turf abuse."

We will see you at the concert Thursday. Click here for tickets.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Making Connections for the Homeless

Project Homeless Connect made some serious connections at the DBAP on October 7th. The ballpark was transformed into a service center for the community’s homeless…and connections were made for housing, healthcare, jobs, food, clothing and counseling.

PHC was a big success, but that’s a double edge sword. Yes, copious aid was dispensed…but lots of assistance is needed due to the weak economy. Additionally, there are more vets on the street due to war in Iran and Afghanistan.

Dawn Baumgartner Vaughn tells the story in the Herald-Sun. Click here.

Durham Mayor Pro Tem Cora Cole-McFadden welcomes the 480 volunteers on Thursday morning. The objective was to have a volunteer for each client. Mission accomplished thanks to twenty-five organizations from state and local government, non-profits and businesses. When the event ended 481 people had checked in for help.

Our pizza stand was replaced by the state’s JobLink Career Center. Used clothing was distributed in our MVP Club.

For the first time vets were specifically included in PHC as a “Stand Down” for homeless veterans - just over one hundred former soldiers are thought to be living on Bull City streets.

Bulls’ concessionaire Centerplate provided a spaghetti lunch for one thousand people. The Interfaith Food Shuttle contributed 300 pounds of ground beef for pasta sauce.

Wool E. Bull gets a blood pressure check from Duke nurses.

We needed a little levity, because the stats around homelessness are sobering:
  • 1,992 Durham homes entered foreclosure in the past year – a 27% increase over the previous year
  • 40,000 Durham households are “at risk” according to the US Census Bureau
  • 535 Durham County children experienced periods of homelessness during the last school year
Say it ain’t so, but I’m pretty sure the Bulls will be hosting PHC again next fall.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Ducks Race in Durham

It was a gorgeous fall afternoon in Durham for the Fox50 Family Fest.

The highlight of the Saturday event was the Great American Tobacco Duck Race on the Old Bull River.

Our Explorer Post 50 has raised just over $10,000 for its college scholarship program selling rubber ducks for the race. [updated 10/5/ pledges & cash trickle in]

This was a major money raiser for Post 50 as we have recently established the scholarship fund at the Triangle Community Foundation. We're off to a good start!

Thanks to the Post members for selling all those ducks. Schlepping tiny, yellow, rubber duckies was a challenging assignment for high school students. (No one died of embarrassment, though.) Post 50 advisor Ken Bland (volunteer extraordinaire) and Bulls media relations manager Matt DeMargel deserve high fives, too.

...and THANK YOU to our business partners who purchased the high-end, top-notch corporate ducks:

Design Hammer - Bulls' web site
SportsMedia - TV broadcast scoring system
USA Baseball - HQ at the DBAP
Ticket Return - Bulls' ticket system
AMI Graphics - digital sign printer for the DBAP
Worldwide Ticketcraft - Bulls' ticket stock provider

We appreciate your support of Explorer Post 50. Thanks!

A tsunami of rubber ducks in the Old Bull River at American Tobacco.