There’s an old saying in baseball, that the game brings out the little kid in grown men. Sayings only get old if they stick around for a while, and they only stick around if they’re true.
I was reminded of all this at one of the Bulls’ last regular season games, when I got to spend a couple of innings behind the left field wall with scoreboard operator Chris Ivy. Recently retired from his day job with Durham County Social Services, Ivy looks a little like a thinner, healthier, happier Mark Twain, circa 1891.
It’s the bottom of the second inning on a rainy July evening at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. The Charlotte Knights are in town, closing out the final evening of a four-game set. At the far left side of the press box, Brent Belvin — the Bulls’ official scorer — is camped once more in the spot he’s occupied for twenty-five years.
The press box windows are open, and that particular variety of Carolina breeze is drifting in — warm, gentle, approximately 115 percent humidity.