Durham Bulls

The Durham Bulls are a professional minor league baseball team that currently plays in the International League. The Bulls play their home games at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in the downtown area of Durham, North Carolina. Durham Bulls Athletic Park is often called the "DBAP" or "D-Bap". The Bulls are the Triple-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays. Established in 1902 as the Durham Tobacconists and disbanded many times over the years, the Bulls became internationally famous following the release of the 1988 movie Bull Durham starring Kevin Costner, Tim Robbins, and Susan Sarandon.

Since 1991, the team has been owned by the Raleigh-based Capitol Broadcasting Company. The Durham Bulls are operated by the operating entity Durham Bulls Baseball Club, Inc. which is also owned by the Capitol Broadcasting Company.

Durham Bulls
Founded in 1902
Durham, North Carolina
DurhamBullsDurhamBullsCap
Team logoCap insignia
Class-level
CurrentTriple-A (1998–present)
Previous
  • Class A (1963–1971, 1980–1997)
  • Class B (1932–1933, 1936–1943,
             1949–1962)
  • Class C (1921–1931, 1945–1948)
  • Class D (1902, 1913–1917, 1920)
Minor league affiliations
LeagueInternational League (1998–present)
DivisionSouth
Previous leagues
Major league affiliations
CurrentTampa Bay Rays (1998–present)
Previous
Minor league titles
Class titles (2)
  • 2009
  • 2017
League titles (15)
  • 1924
  • 1925
  • 1929
  • 1930
  • 1940
  • 1941
  • 1957
  • 1965
  • 1967
  • 2002
  • 2003
  • 2009
  • 2013
  • 2017
  • 2018
Division titles (18)
  • 1980
  • 1982
  • 1984
  • 1989
  • 1998
  • 1999
  • 2000
  • 2002
  • 2003
  • 2007
  • 2008
  • 2009
  • 2010
  • 2011
  • 2013
  • 2014
  • 2017
  • 2018
Team data
NicknameDurham Bulls (1913–1967, 1980–present)
Previous names
ColorsBlue, burnt orange, black, white
                   
MascotsWool E. Bull (1993-present)
The Blue Monster (2007-present)
BallparkDurham Bulls Athletic Park
(1995–present)
Previous parks
Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
Capitol Broadcasting Company
ManagerBrady Williams
General ManagerMike Birling

Team history

Early years (1902–1926)

The Bulls were founded in 1902 as the Durham Tobacconists. The official date when the franchise formed was March 18. William G. Bramham, later President of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues (Minor League Baseball), was the first owner. The Tobacconists took the field for the first time on April 24 in an exhibition game against Trinity College. Their first game in the North Carolina League was at Charlotte on May 5 against the Hornets, and their first home game was against the New Bern Truckers on May 12. The league, however, folded in July, not having played a full season.[1]

In December 1912, the Durham Tobacconists re-formed as the Durham Bulls in the North Carolina State League. Their first game was on April 24, 1913 at Hanes Field on the Trinity College campus (now the East Campus of Duke University). They defeated the Raleigh Capitals 7-4. On May 30, 1917, however, the North Carolina State League folded due to America's joining of the Allied Powers during World War I. The Bulls were declared league champions, even though the season was shortened to only 36 games.[1]

On October 31, 1919, the Bulls joined the Piedmont League, a minor league with clubs scattered around Virginia and North Carolina. Seven years later, in 1926, the team moved from Hanes Field to El Toro Park. The park was dedicated on July 26 by the Commissioner of Baseball Kenesaw Mountain Landis, who put on a show by riding a real bull, the team mascot, onto the playing field.[1]

Durham Athletic Park and the Carolina League (1932–1957)

Six years later, in 1932, the team became affiliated with the National League's Philadelphia Phillies, the first of ten teams that the Bulls have been affiliated with. The next year, the city of Durham purchased El Toro Park, renaming it the Durham Athletic Park after the 1933 season. The Bulls were unable to operate for the 1934 and 1935 seasons due to the Great Depression. Meanwhile, a team from Wilmington, North Carolina who also played in the Piedmont League and was a Cincinnati Reds affiliate called the Wilmington Pirates relocated to Durham and was going to replace the Bulls. The Bulls franchise, however, was re-activated by having the operations of the Wilmington ball club integrated into the Bulls. The Reds then switched affiliations from the former Wilmington ball club to the Bulls and the Bulls continued as the same franchise. On the evening of June 17, 1939, the Durham Athletic Park burned to the ground hours after the Bulls defeated the Portsmouth Cubs 7-3. The groundskeeper, Walter Williams, who was asleep under the grandstand when the blaze began, was able to escape though the fire nearly killed him. Damage costs were more than $100,000. In a remarkable two-week turnaround, Durham Athletic Park was functioning again by July 2, with the old wooden grandstand replaced by concrete and steel. Temporary bleachers were also added and seated 1,000. The crowd that day saw the Bulls beat the Charlotte Hornets 11-4.[1]

2008-07-26 Durham Athletic Park
Durham Athletic Park in 2008

A new Durham Athletic Park was finally completed in April 1940, in time for an exhibition game between the Cincinnati Reds and Boston Red Sox, which attracted 5,574 fans. Only 1,587 turned out ten days later for the Bulls' first game of the season. On September 5, 1943, the last-place Bulls played their last Piedmont League game, beating Richmond 15-5. The following year, the Piedmont League became an all-Virginia league, and there was no baseball in Durham in 1944.[2] In 1945, a second Carolina League formed. On April 27 the reactivated Bulls played their first game in the new league, defeating the Burlington Bees 5-0. Three years later, in September 1948, Tom Wright, a former Bulls outfielder, became the first Carolina League player to make it to the majors when he debuted with the Boston Red Sox. Three years after that, the Bulls helped make history when their 5-4 loss to the Danville Leafs featured the first black player in Carolina League history, Percy Miller Jr., who played for the Leafs.[2] It would not be until April 18, 1957 that the Bulls fielded African-American players, when third baseman Bubba Morton and pitcher Ted Richardson took the field in a loss to Greensboro. That season also saw the first Carolina League All-Star game played in Durham.[2]

Raleigh-Durham era (1967–1980)

In 1967, the Bulls became a New York Mets affiliate. One year later, the Bulls were renamed the Raleigh-Durham Mets. The franchise was renamed because the Bulls acquired the nearby Raleigh Pirates and merged with them. The team still maintained their affiliation with the Mets, playing half of their home games at Durham Athletic Park and half at Devereaux Meadow in Raleigh. The team switched affiliations from the Mets to the Philadelphia Phillies and were renamed the Raleigh-Durham Phillies for the 1969 season. The team hadn't been affiliated with the Phillies since the 1932 season. The Phillies abandoned the franchise and the team became independent, renaming themselves the Raleigh-Durham Triangles for the 1970 season. The team played as the Triangles from 1970–1971 and remained independent for both seasons. The franchise disbanded again before the 1972 season, and baseball would not return to Durham until 1980. Also, minor league baseball in Raleigh ended for good. For the 1980 season, the Raleigh-Durham Triangles were reformed and renamed back to the Durham Bulls. On June 22 of that same year, the local CBS affiliate, then WTVD in Durham, broadcast the Bulls game locally, the first time that the Bulls had ever been featured on television.[2] The team also became an affiliate of the Atlanta Braves that season and would remain so until 1998.[3]

DAP Bull 890625b
The old bull from Durham Athletic Park, added during the filming of Bull Durham

The Bull Durham years (1988–1994)

Team owner Miles Wolff began pushing for a new ballpark for the Bulls in 1988 in order to attract Triple-A baseball, but stadium plans were pushed back for years. When the film Bull Durham was released in mid-1988, it led to a huge interest in the team and their ballpark. Both the real Bulls and their movie counterparts played in the High-A Carolina League in the late 1980s. On August 30, 1990, a crowd of 6,202 made the Bulls the first Class-A team in history to pass the 300,000 mark in attendance for a season.[4]

The Bulls were sold to the Raleigh-based Capitol Broadcasting Company in 1991. Capitol president Jim Goodmon initially proposed building the new stadium near Raleigh-Durham International Airport, but after city leaders in Durham offered to renovate the old ballpark or help build a new stadium, the current downtown Durham site was secured.[4] In July 1992, the Bulls unveiled their current mascot, Wool E. Bull, a moniker submitted by Durham resident Jim Vickery out of a pool of 500, inspired by the otherwise unrelated novelty song oldie, "Wooly Bully". The "E" in his name stands for "education." The next June, the Bulls retired the number 18 belonging to Joe Morgan, the first hall of famer to play for the Bulls, who was a member of the 1963 club (Chipper Jones, who played for the Bulls in 1992, was the second, elected in 2018). Morgan's number remained the only one retired by the club for many years; he attended the ceremony where his number was retired. The team also retained the snorting bull sign that was used in Bull Durham and it remained at Durham Athletic Park until both team and sign left after the 1994 season.

DBAP and Triple-A baseball (1995–2003)

Durham Bulls Athletic Park opened its doors in 1995, complete with a new snorting bull sign. The 1997 season was the final one in which the Bulls were an affiliate of the Atlanta Braves and also their last year in the High-A Carolina League. In 1998, the franchise moved two levels up to Triple-A and joined the International League (IL), in part because of their popularity as the main team in Bull Durham, and also because the Triple-A leagues needed two more teams to accommodate affiliates for the Major League Baseball expansion teams Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Arizona Diamondbacks. Wolff's dream of attracting Triple-A baseball came true when the Bulls became the Triple-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (now Tampa Bay Rays), who have remained their parent club ever since. DBAP expanded its seating capacity due to the move. 1998 also saw the Bulls play their first game outside the United States when they played road games against the Ottawa Lynx (now the Lehigh Valley IronPigs), though it would be another year before they recorded their first win in Canada.

The Bulls' second appearance on film was in The Rookie, released in 2002. It starred Dennis Quaid as Jim Morris, a baseball pitcher who is now retired. The real Jim Morris did play for the Bulls briefly during the 1999 season and was then called up to the major leagues on September 18, 1999 at the age of 35. He made his debut against Royce Clayton of the Texas Rangers, striking him out on four pitches. Morris made four more appearances later that year. The 2001 season saw the Bulls set single-game (10,916 on July 23) and full-season (505,319 set on September 1) attendance records. The Bulls celebrated their 100th anniversary season in 2002. On September 12, 2002, the Bulls won their first IL championship, defeating the Buffalo Bisons 2-0 for the Governors' Cup. In 2003, Durham became the first club in the 119-year history of the championship to sweep back-to-back final playoff series, defeating the Pawtucket Red Sox.[4]

Durhambull
The 2nd incarnation of the snorting Durham Bull sign (1995-2008)

Championships and success (2005–present)

After missing the playoffs for the 2005 and 2006 seasons, the Bulls captured the 2007 South Division title with an 80-64 regular season record. Durham defeated the Toledo Mud Hens in a three-game sweep during the first round of the playoffs, but were defeated three games to two in the Governors' Cup Final by the Richmond Braves (now Gwinnett Braves).[4] In 2008, with a record of 74-70 the Bulls would once again win the South Division. After defeating the Louisville Bats three games to one in the first round, the Bulls again lost the championship, this time in four games to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees.

In 2009, they won the division for a third consecutive season with an 83-61 record. Facing the Louisville Bats in the first round again, the Bulls were victorious, winning in five games. The third time was the charm for the Bulls in the Governors' Cup final, as they dethroned the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees in three games to win the championship, their third since joining the International League. The Bulls advanced to the Triple-A Baseball National Championship Game against the champions of the Pacific Coast League for the first time in team history, as that championship game did not exist at the time of the Bulls' previous two Governors' Cup championships. Facing the Memphis Redbirds, the Bulls would win their first class championship, scoring the winning run on a wild pitch in the bottom half of the eleventh inning. Also in 2009, the Bulls retired the number 8 of Crash Davis, the main character of Bull Durham, which was their first number retirement in sixteen years.

On August 19, 2010, the Bulls won their fourth straight division championship. Almost two weeks later, the Bulls set the Triple-A wins record winning their 84th game of the 2010 season. On August 2, 2011, the Bulls defeated the Charlotte Knights, the Chicago White Sox affiliate for their 6,000th win in franchise history with a final score of 18-3. The team retired the number 20 of longtime general manager Bill Evers the following year. In 2013, the team won its fourth Governors' Cup title, defeating the Pawtucket Red Sox in the International League Final. The same year the number 10, belonging to former Bulls player Chipper Jones, was retired. Following a $20 million renovation to the DBAP, the Bulls hosted the 27th Triple-A All-Star Game on July 16, 2014 which saw the International League prevail 7-3 over the Pacific Coast League. Charlie Montoyo became the franchise's all-time winningest manager on July 21, earning his 614th victory to pass Bill Evers. On August 31, 2014, the Bulls again broke their all-time paid attendance record, finishing the year with a cumulative mark of 533,033.

Before the 2015 season, Jared Sandberg was named the fourth manager in the team's Triple-A history, replacing Montoyo.[5] The 2015 season saw the Bulls set both a new single-game paid attendance record on July 4, and a new single-season paid attendance record, finishing with a cumulative mark of 554,788.[6] In 2016, the Bulls had the franchise's second-highest attendance numbers and retired Montoyo's number 25. Overall, the team had their fourth losing season since 1998 and missed the playoffs.[7] 2017 proved a watershed year for the Bulls, as they captured their first South Division championship since 2014 with an 86-56 record. The Bulls then won their second Triple-A National Championship, defeating the Memphis Redbirds after beating the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders for their fifth Governors' Cup title.[8] Success continued in 2018; the team went 79-60 and won their second straight South Division championship and Governor's Cup before falling to Memphis in the National Championship.[9]

Jared Sandberg left before the 2019 season. Brady Williams was hired as the team's 5th Triple-A manager.[10]

Alumni

Notable players to pass through the franchise include:

Non-Tampa Bay Rays affiliation

Tampa Bay Rays affiliation

The most notable baseball player to have once played for the Bulls is Hall of Famer Joe Morgan. Morgan spent part of the 1963 season with the Bulls before earning a promotion to the Houston Colt 45s (Houston Astros). His number 18 was retired by the team on August 9, 2002, during a postgame ceremony which he attended. Danny Gans, a Las Vegas entertainer and former minor league baseball player, played Bulls' third baseman in Bull Durham. In 2012, Hideki Matsui, former New York Yankee & 2009 World Series MVP, also played for the team.

Retired numbers

Durham Bulls retired numbers
No. Player Position No. retirement
8 Crash Davis C July 4, 2008[11]
10 Chipper Jones SS August 20, 2013
18 Joe Morgan 2B June 17, 1993
20 Bill Evers Manager May 19, 2012[12]
25 Charlie Montoyo Manager May 19, 2016
42 Jackie Robinson IF April 15, 1997

Season by season records

North Carolina State League

  • 1917 – In first place (24-12) when league ceased play due to World War I

Piedmont League

  • 1922 – Won second half of the season (69-58 overall) and defeated the High Point Furniture Makers in the play-off to take the title
  • 1924 – Won pennant with a 74-46 record
  • 1925 – Won first half of the season (68-58 overall) and defeated the Winston-Salem Twins in the playoff to take the title
  • 1926 – Won second half of the season (73-71 overall), but lost to the Greensboro Patriots in the playoff
  • 1929 – Won pennant with an 85-51 record
  • 1930 – Finished second (71-68), defeated the first-place Henderson Gamecocks in a playoff
  • 1936 – Finished second (79-63), lost to the first-place Norfolk Tars in the playoffs
  • 1939 – Finished second (75-65), lost to the Rocky Mount Red Sox in the playoffs
  • 1940 – Finished fourth (73-62), but defeated the Richmond Colts and Rocky Mount Red Sox to take playoff title
  • 1941 – Won pennant (84-53), defeated the Norfolk Tars and the Greensboro Patriots to take playoff title

Carolina League

  • 1946 – Finished third (80-62), lost to the Raleigh Capitals in the playoff finals
  • 1951 – Finished first (84-56), lost to the Reidsville Luckies in the first round of the playoffs
  • 1952 – Finished second (76-59), lost to the Reidsville Luckies in the playoff finals
  • 1954 – Finished fourth (70-68), lost to the Fayetteville Highlanders in the first round of the playoffs
  • 1955 – Finished fourth (69-69), lost to the High Point-Thomasville Hi-Toms in the first round of the playoffs
  • 1956 – Finished second (84-69), lost to the Danville Leafs in the first round of the playoffs
  • 1957 – Won first half of the season (79-61 overall) and defeated the High Point-Thomasville Hi-Toms in the playoff to take the title
  • 1959 – Finished third (70-60), lost to the Wilson Tobs in the first round of the playoffs
  • 1962 – Finished first (89-51), lost to the Kinston Eagles in the playoff finals
  • 1963 – Finished second in the West Division (78-65), lost to the Greensboro Yankees in the first round of the playoffs
  • 1965 – Finished first in the West Division (83-60), lost to the Portsmouth Tides in the playoff finals
  • 1967 – Finished first in the West Division (74-64), defeated the Portsmouth Tides in the playoff finals
  • 1968 – Finished first in the East Division (83-56), lost to the High Point-Thomasville Hi-Toms in the playoff finals
  • 1969 – Finished second in the East Division (79-62), defeated the Burlington Senators in the playoff finals
  • 1980 – Finished first in the NC Division (84-56), lost to the Peninsula Pilots in the playoff
  • 1982 – Finished second in the South Division (80-56), lost to the Alexandria Dukes in the playoff finals
  • 1989 – Finished first in the South Division (84-54), lost to the Prince William Cannons in the playoff finals
  • 1990 – Finished third in the South Division (71-68)
  • 1991 – Finished third in the South Division (79-58)
  • 1992 – Finished second in South Division (70-70)
  • 1993 – Finished third in the South Division (69-69)
  • 1994 – Won second half of season in the South Division (66-70 overall), lost to the Winston-Salem Warthogs in the playoffs

(Note: The Bulls played as the Raleigh-Durham Mets in 1968 and the Raleigh-Durham Phillies in 1969)

International League
The Bulls have won the Governors' Cup (the championship of the IL) six times, and have played in the championship series twelve times.

Notable former broadcasters

Listed below are former Bulls broadcasters who made it to the MLB. Also listed are the teams they broadcast for.

Current roster

Durham Bulls roster
Players Coaches/Other

Pitchers

Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

Manager

Coaches

Injury icon 2.svg 7-day injured list
* On Tampa Bay Rays 40-man roster
# Rehab assignment
∞ Reserve list
‡ Restricted list
§ Suspended list
† Temporary inactive list
Roster updated April 15, 2019
Transactions
→ More rosters: MiLB • International League
Tampa Bay Rays minor league players

Explorer Post 50

The Durham Bulls also created a program after they went to Triple-A status called Explorer Post 50. Explorer Post 50 is a program that is similar to Explorer Post 5 which is located at NBC affiliate WRAL-TV in Raleigh, North Carolina (which is owned by the Bulls' parent company, Capitol Broadcasting). Explorer Post 50 is a youth-based television production group with students who have completed middle-school and are 14 to 20 years old. Explorer Post 50 provides all of the camera work for Durham Bulls TV on RTN, replays and "fan cams" on the video board in left field, and the highlights of all of the Durham Bulls home games. Explorer teaches youth how to produce a live broadcast, including graphics, replays, graphic scores aka "Fox Box", camera work, producing, and directing. Two students from Explorer Post 50 have been hired by ESPN, one at ESPN Regional Television and another at ESPN Master Control. Starting in the 2008 season, Explorer Post 50 hands out academic scholarships to the graduating seniors of the program who are on their way to college. [13]

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d "Bulls History (1902–1939)".
  2. ^ a b c d "Bulls History (1940-1988)".
  3. ^ "1980 Durham Bulls Statistics - Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com.
  4. ^ a b c d "Bulls History (1990-2007)".
  5. ^ "Jared Sandberg Named New Manager of the Durham Bulls | Durham Bulls News". Durham Bulls. Retrieved 2016-01-05.
  6. ^ "Bulls Break All-Time Single-Season Attendance Record | Durham Bulls News". Durham Bulls. Retrieved 2016-01-05.
  7. ^ "2016 Durham Bulls Season In Review". MiLB.com.
  8. ^ "Bulls Capture Triple-A National Championship". www.milb.com. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  9. ^ https://www.milb.com/durham/news/durham-falls-in-triple-a-national-championship-game/c-295166482
  10. ^ https://www.milb.com/durham/news/brady-williams-named-new-bulls-manager/c-302868482
  11. ^ "Retired Numbers: #8 - Crash Davis" (PDF). 2016 Durham Bulls Media Guide. Durham Bulls. 2016. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  12. ^ "Bulls Retire Hall of Famer Evers' No. 20". milb.com. 2012. Retrieved 2013-08-21.
  13. ^ "Explorer Post 50 – Durham Bulls Community". Retrieved May 19, 2013.

References

  • Holaday, J. Chris (1998). Professional Baseball in North Carolina: An Illustrated City-by-City History, 1901–1996. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 0-7864-0532-5.
  • Lloyd, Johnson; Miles Wolff, eds. (2007). The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, third ed. Baseball America, Inc. ISBN 1-932391-17-7.

External links

Al Gallagher

Alan Mitchell Edward George Patrick Henry Gallagher (October 19, 1945 – December 6, 2018) was an American professional baseball player who played four seasons for the San Francisco Giants and California Angels of Major League Baseball. He played in 442 games during his career in which he had 1,264 at bats, 333 hits, 114 runs, 11 home runs, 130 RBIs, 42 doubles, 9 triples, and 7 stolen bases. He also had 164 strikeouts and was walked 138 times.

Billy Goodman

William Dale Goodman (March 22, 1926 – October 1, 1984) was an American Major League Baseball (MLB) infielder who played sixteen seasons for the Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox, and Houston Colt .45s, from 1947 through 1962. Goodman was inducted posthumously into the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame in November 2004.Goodman was an outstanding hitter and fielder, he was one of the most versatile players of his era. He played every position in the major leagues except catcher and pitcher and was an All-Star for two seasons. In 1950, he won the American League (AL) batting title hitting .354 with 68 runs batted in (RBI) and was the AL Most Valuable Player runner-up to New York Yankees shortstop Phil Rizzuto (hit .324 with 66 RBI). Goodman batted over .290 in eleven seasons including over .300 in five seasons. In 1959, he hit .304, helping the White Sox win the AL Pennant championship. His career .376 on-base percentage made him an ideal lead-off hitter. He was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 1969.

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Charlie Montoyo

José Carlos Montoyo Díaz (born October 17, 1965), is a Puerto Rican former professional baseball second baseman, who is currently the manager of the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball (MLB). After eight successful seasons as manager of the International League Durham Bulls, the Triple-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays (2007–2014), Montoyo was a candidate for the Rays' 2015 managerial opening and was ultimately brought on as the team's third base coach. After the 2017 season, he became the Rays’ bench coach. On October 25, 2018, the Toronto Blue Jays announced that Montoyo had been hired as their new manager.

Durham Athletic Park

Durham Athletic Park, affectionately known as "The DAP" (pronounced like "cap"), is a former minor league baseball stadium in Durham, North Carolina. The stadium was home to the Durham Bulls from 1926 through 1994, and is currently home to the North Carolina Central Eagles and the Durham School of the Arts Bulldogs. As of 2017, the DAP still stands north of the downtown area of Durham, on the block bounded by Washington, Corporation, Foster and Geer Streets.

Durham Athletic Park became one of the most famous minor league ballparks in history thanks to the 1988 film Bull Durham, featuring the Bulls, Kevin Costner, Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon. Most of the filming was done at the DAP, following the end of the Carolina League season of 1987. The film's wide acclaim helped fuel the burgeoning public interest in minor league ball in general. In the case of both the city and the film, this explosion of popularity caused the DAP to become a victim of its own success; despite expansion with temporary bleachers, it was just too small to handle the increase in crowd size and the Bulls’ Triple-A ambitions.

The Bulls moved to their new home Durham Bulls Athletic Park (also known as the "DBAP") in downtown Durham, starting with the 1995 season. Durham Bulls Athletic Park was built with a capacity to Carolina League standards, but the land that the DBAP was built on had more room in case the ballpark needed to be expanded for Triple-A baseball. Triple-A baseball came to Durham in 1998 and the Bulls moved up from High-A to Triple-A, with the DBAP then expanded to Triple-A standards.

Durham Bulls Athletic Park

Durham Bulls Athletic Park (DBAP, pronounced "d-bap") is a 10,000-seat ballpark in Durham, North Carolina that is home to the Durham Bulls, the Triple-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays of Major League Baseball. It is also home to the Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Central Eagles college baseball teams. The $18.5-million park opened in 1995 as the successor to the Durham Athletic Park.

Governors' Cup

The Governors' Cup is the trophy awarded each year to the champion of the International League, one of the two current Triple-A level minor leagues of Major League Baseball. It was first awarded in 1933 to the winner of a new postseason playoff system. The champions from the International League's creation in 1884 until 1932 were simply the regular season pennant winners.

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Jared Sandberg

Jared Lawrence Sandberg (born March 2, 1978) is an American professional baseball coach and a former Major League Baseball (MLB) third baseman and minor league manager.

He will be the 2019 major league field coordinator for the Seattle Mariners of the American League.Born in Olympia, Washington, where he graduated from Capital High School, Sandberg had a 12-year pro playing career (1996–2007), and prior to joining the Mariners he had spent 20 years in the Tampa Bay Rays' organization. His entire MLB career — 196 games played — was spent with the team (then called the Devil Rays) from 2001 through 2003. He spent ten years as a manager in the Rays' farm system, including 2015 through 2018 as the pilot of the Triple-A Durham Bulls, their top affiliate, where he won consecutive International League Governors' Cup championships in 2017–18.

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Lee Meadows

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List of Atlanta Braves minor league affiliates

The Atlanta Braves farm system consists of seven Minor League Baseball affiliates across the United States and in the Dominican Republic. Atlanta owns six of its minor league affiliates; only the Florida Fire Frogs are independently owned.

The Braves have been affiliated with the Triple-A Richmond/Gwinnett Braves/Stripers of the International League since 1966, making it the longest-running active affiliation in the organization. This is also the longest affiliation in the team's history. Their newest affiliate is the Florida Fire Frogs of the Florida State League which became the Braves' Class A-Advanced club in 2017.Geographically, Atlanta's closest domestic affiliate is the Gwinnett Stripers of the Triple-A International League which is approximately 29 miles (47 km) away. Atlanta's furthest domestic affiliate is the Florida Fire Frogs of the Class A-Advanced Florida State League some 428 miles (689 km) away.

List of Tampa Bay Rays minor league affiliates

The Tampa Bay Rays farm system consists of nine Minor League Baseball affiliates across the United States and in the Dominican Republic. Five teams are independently owned, while four—the Princeton Rays, Gulf Coast League Rays, and two Dominican Summer League Rays squads—are owned by the major league club.

The Rays have been affiliated with the Class A Short Season Hudson Valley Renegades of the New York–Penn League since 1996, making it the longest-running active affiliation in the organization among teams not owned by the Rays. It is also the longest affiliation in the team's history. Their newest affiliates are the Charlotte Stone Crabs of the Florida State League which became the Rays' Class A-Advanced club in 2009 and the Bowling Green Hot Rods of the Midwest League which became their Class A affiliate also in 2009.

Geographically, Tampa Bay's closest domestic affiliates are the Charlotte Stone Crabs of the Class A-Advanced Florida State League and the Gulf Coast League Rays of the Rookie League Gulf Coast League which share a facility approximately 61 miles (98 km) away. Tampa Bay's furthest domestic affiliate is the Hudson Valley Renegades of the Class A Short Season New York–Penn League some 1,070 miles (1,720 km) away.

Mickey Callaway

Michael Christopher “Mickey” Callaway (born May 13, 1975) is a former American professional baseball pitcher and the manager for the New York Mets national league of Major League Baseball.

Triple-A National Championship Game

The Triple-A National Championship Game, previously known as the Bricktown Showdown, is a single championship game held annually between the league champions of the International League (IL) and Pacific Coast League (PCL) affiliated Triple-A leagues of Minor League Baseball (MiLB) to determine an overall champion of the classification. The championship consists of a single nine-inning game to determine a champion. As the game is usually played at a neutral site, the host league has its team designated as the home team.

From 2006 to 2010, the game was held annually at AT&T Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Since 2011, the game has been hosted in a different Triple-A city each year.

The Durham Bulls have made four appearances in the Triple-A Championship Game, more than any other team. Durham, the IL's Columbus Clippers, and the PCL's Omaha Storm Chasers and Sacramento River Cats have each won two championships, more than any others. Five other teams have won one championship each. Eight titles have been won by PCL teams, while the IL has won only five titles.

Álex Colomé

Álexander Manuel Colomé Pérez (born December 31, 1988) is a Dominican professional baseball pitcher for the Chicago White Sox of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the Tampa Bay Rays and Seattle Mariners.

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