Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Hank Aaron Files

Last week's turn-back-the-clock game at the Durham Athletic Park reminded me of a significant period in Bulls' history - when the Atlanta Braves came to town!

During most of the 1970's, there was no Minor League ball in Durham. An early attempt at "regionalism" featured a team that split its games between Raleigh and Durham. The concept failed to win fans and the team fizzled. No baseball for almost a decade.

In 1979 Miles Wolff enticed the City of Durham to fix up the DAP, he convinced the Braves to provide a team, and the Carolina League single-A Durham Bulls returned to the field in 1980. The rest is (modern) history!

The Braves were represented by Hank Aaron. Hammerin' Hank had retired in 1976 and moved to the Atlanta front office. He was assigned the Durham project.

Durham City Manager Tom Bonfield discovered these letters in his files last year. He shared them with me...and I share them with you. There's nothing earth shattering about these documents, but thirty years later, they are can be viewed as a milestone in the Bulls 109-year legacy. Click here to read more from the Aaron files.