Sunday, July 24, 2011

Airborne in Utah

Indulge me, please, as I share travel photos. We were in Salt Lake City earlier this month for the Triple A All-Star Game, and we visited the Utah Olympic Park, site of the 2002 Winter Olympics.

I was surprised to learn that (snow) skiers practice their aerial routines during the summertime in a pool. Here's how it works...

Here's what ski jumping looks like in the summer. The ramp is carpeted with artificial turf and a sprinkler system keeps it slick.

I'm sure this looks a lot better when the landscape is covered with snow, but it's remarkable to watch in July!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Bull Moon Ride

When you stage an annual event, the challenge is year-over-year growth, and we're very pleased with the results of Saturday night's Bull Moon bike ride for Habitat of Durham. 653 cyclists meandered through dusky downtown Durham. That's about 80 more riders than last year. They raised over $30K. We're headed in the right direction!

Cycling begins at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

Bull Riders (and Bulls' managers) Mary Beth Warfford and Matt DeMargel.
They helped organize and promote the Bull Moon Ride
alongside Molly Boyce who was too busy to pose for a photo.

This is not a competitive cycling event. It has a greater purpose! Registration and sponsorship fees support Habitat for Humanity's home building, home ownership and neighborhood improvement efforts. I lifted this from their website:


Founded in 1985, we have broken ground on more than 250 homes for working families in Durham whose housing is unsound, unsafe or overcrowded. We are the banker and the builder. We build, repair and sell new homes at no interest. The no-interest loans, as well as donations of time and money, allow us to offer an affordable mortgage payment to families who don't qualify for traditional mortgages.

In addition to new homes, we repair homes and beautifying neighborhoods through
A Brush With Kindness. Through these efforts we transform and stabilize neighborhoods.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Supporting Durham Public Schools

The Durham Bulls are great partners.

They are recognizing and rewarding our employees.

They are providing our students with opportunities to learn skills that can't be taught in the classroom.

Eric Becoats, Superintendent, Durham Public Schools

Generous words from the leader of DPS. Dr. Becoats hosts a monthly video report on the school system's progress - Bulls Eye - and the latest installment features two programs at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park:
The video (4.5 min) is posted on the DPS Facebook page. Click here. Check it out...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wool E., we're not in Durham anymore.

We find ourselves in Salt Lake City for the Triple A All-Star Game. The Salt Lake Bees of the Pacific Coast League are marvelous hosts.

Your intrepid blogger is far more impressed with the Wasatch Range (of the Rocky Mountains) vs. the city's namesake lake.

This was my view across the outfield at Monday's Home Run Derby...

Tuesday night, the Bees hosted a gala at the University of Utah's football stadium. The MLB All-Star Game was on the video screen, but my eyes were drawn to the scenery...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

All-Star Break, Chipper Jones...

The baseball tribe is in All-Star mode this week. The MLB game is in Phoenix on Tuesday. Bulls Manager Charlie Montoyo was conspicuous on ESPN2 Sunday for the first event of the All-Star festivities. He was tapped to coach top prospects in the Futures Game.

The Triple A All-Star Game is Wednesday in Salt Lake City. The Bulls are sending three players to Utah: shortstop Ray Olmedo replaces injured outfielder Desmond Jennings. Also, the Bulls will be represented by outfielders Brandon Guyer and Russ Canzler.

Our very own Neil Solondz will call the game on the nationwide Triple A radio network. Listen to Neil on 620 The Buzz at 9pm eastern. You can catch the game on the MLB Network, too.

The All-Star Game had TV5’s Jeff Gravley rattling around in the archives last week. He discovered a great story on 19 year old Chipper Jones playing for the Bulls - in 1992 - when we were the Atlanta Braves Single A affiliate.

Chipper was selected for the 2011 All-Star game, but arthroscopic knee surgery upset those plans.

More artifacts...
Bobble heads from our 100th anniversary in 2002: Chipper and David Justice.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Independence Day Rain Check

USA-USA-USA the crowd chanted as America's college all-stars beat Japan Tuesday evening 4-3...but the Bull City crowd gave a standing ovation to the Japanese players. Baseball brings out the best in us!

Our Independence Day "rain check" was a big success. We had about seven thousand folks show up on a work night to watch Team USA vs. Japan and a fantastic fireworks display. (The City of Durham won a grant from Liberty Mutual for extra pyrotechnics and Bulls' GM Mike Birling worked some magic with his insider knowledge of fireworks procurement.)

It was the best fireworks show I've ever seen at the ballpark. Keep in mind that we don't have Boston Harbor to work with when staging fireworks. We're launching them from the field, and there are altitude restrictions imposed on our downtown site. It's remarkable that we're able to set the Durham sky ablaze in breathtaking fashion!

Here's how the game ended for Team USA - a victory lap with the American flag and the All American Cupid Shuffle...

WRAL TV5 Sports talked with Team USA's closer - from Duke University - Marcus Stroman who consistently throws in the mid-nineties...

Monday, July 4, 2011

July 4th Do-over

Let's take another swing at Independence Day...on July 5th.

Rain washed out USA vs. Japan and the post-game City of Durham fireworks extravaganza, so we will try again Tuesday evening. Gates open at 5pm for the 6:05 game. Bring your Monday night ticket for admission, and click here for more info.

A highlight of the holiday weekend was the Bright Leaf Hot Dog Eating Contest on Sunday. The News & Observer was all over the mustard and chili on a hot dog. Check out the article and Takaaki Iwabu's photo essay.

Our contest had a five-minute time limit and Bulls' manager Matt DeMargel consumed the most hot dogs - nine. But compare that to the legendary Nathan's contest in NYC Monday. It's a ten-minute engorgement, and the winner swallowed sixty-two hot dogs! Isn't gluttony one of the seven deadly sins!?!