Knowing the Opponent: Durham Bulls

Ryne E. HancockCorrespondent ISeptember 22, 2009

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 09:  Brian Shouse #52 of the Tampa Bay Rays pitches against the New York Yankees during the game on September 9, 2009 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

“Never underestimate your opponent; that is the worst thing you could possibly do.”- Ryne E. Hancock December 12, 2008


Durham Bulls

Affiliate: Tampa Bay Rays (since 1998)

Home Park: Durham Bulls Athletic Park (capacity 10,000)

The Skinny: The most famous minor league team in baseball history, the Bulls have played in Durham since 1902, when the franchise was a member of the North Carolina League. However, the team is best known for the movie Bull Durham which was filmed at their former ballpark Durham Athletic Park. From 1926 to 1994, this ballpark has been home to the team and their snorting bull, which was immortalized in the movie as well.

Titletown: While it has taken the Redbirds nine years to win another PCL championship for the Bluff City, the Bulls have been the opposite. Since joining the International League in 1998, the Bulls have won four division titles and three Governors’ Cups. In 107 years of baseball total, the Bulls have won championships in 1924, 1925, 1929, 1930, 1940, 1941, 1957, 1965, 1967, 2002, 2003, and 2009.

Notable Players: In over a century of baseball in Durham, players like Joe Morgan, Ryan Klesko, Chipper Jones, Kevin Millwood, David Justice, Ron Gant, Rusty Staub, David Price, Evan Longoria, and countless others have made a name for themselves in the city.

The Road to Bricktown: Durham won the International South division by two games over Gwinnett, finishing 83-61. In the first round of the playoffs, the Bulls defeated Louisville in five games before sweeping the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees to win the Governors’ Cup.

Did You Know? Joe Morgan is the only Durham Bull to have his jersey retired by the franchise, which occurred in 2002.