Back in Time, Part Two: The Manager

Wednesday, September 4, 2013
public hardware

Photos of the historic Public Hardware store in Durham by Leah Sobsey.

As the season draws to a close, and the run of days slows and grows autumnal, now seems like a good moment to look back at some early settlers of what we now take for granted as Bulls country. This is part two of a four-part series of interviews and profiles. It’s also an unforeseen expansion of my Paris Review Daily piece, out today, about the most exciting game I ever saw, which took place at the old Durham Athletic Park on September 4, 1984.

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Crunching the Numbers with Scoreboard Operator Chris Ivy

Tuesday, September 3, 2013
chris ivy scorecard

Photo by Leah Sobsey.

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.

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State of the Bulls Address: The BABIP Edition

Saturday, August 3, 2013
geese taps

Photo by Leah Sobsey.

The Bulls have thirty games left to play in the regular season. They return to Durham with an astonishing 72-42 record, a fourteen-game lead (at the time of writing this) over second-place Norfolk in the International League, and a very good chance to break the all-time franchise record for wins in a season. They return to Durham Bulls Athletic Park from a very successful road trip through Ohio, splitting four games with the Columbus Clippers and then taking three of four from Toledo, pushing the Mud Hens down below Gwinnett and into the International League basement.

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Easy Breezy: Durham Bulls edge Gwinnett Braves again

Friday, July 26, 2013
examining nails

Photo by Leah Sobsey.

Sorry to make it about the weather, but my desk is pretty near a water cooler, so small talk is always a possibility.

Clouds suppressed yesterday’s temperature into the late afternoon, and then they drifted off to cool some other realms. They left behind a shockingly mild evening, almost chilly, with a gentle dry breeze. It’s July in North Carolina. It felt like April here, or like July in Vermont. Christmas in July in Vermont.

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New BCS Piece in Paris Review Daily Series Posted Today

Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Wool E. Bull. Wet plate tintype by Leah Sobsey/Tim Telkamp.

Wool E. Bull. Wet plate tintype by Leah Sobsey/Tim Telkamp.

Our seventh piece in the Paris Review series was posted today, written by Adam Sobsey, with photographs by Leah Sobsey/Tim Telkamp, Kate Joyce, and Ivan Weiss.

“Not really about baseball”: we’ve adhered pretty well so far to this watchword of our Bull City Summer documentary project, but cultivating indifference has been hard for me. I really care about baseball, and I watch the games closely. Still, I’ve made a season-long effort to notice the surroundings in a rather moony way—trying to soak up the ambient energy in the ballpark, its sheer quality and quantity.

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Bulls in Hats

Sunday, July 14, 2013
Howard and Bakari

Howard and his son, Bakari. Photo by Roni Nicole Henderson.

I sit in a sea of hats, mostly blue and orange, all displaying capital Ds with Bulls leaping from their center. So many hats, old, brand-new, mesh, wool, bent brims, straight brims, some worn in the traditional manner, some turned to the back or even sideways. These conservative, ostentatious, loud, quiet, unassuming, over-the-top and out-of-the box hats do more than represent the Durham Bulls baseball team.

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Durham Bulls win seventh straight: Beginnings and big innings

Sunday, July 14, 2013
scoreboard behind scenes

Photo by Leah Sobsey.

“It’s unreal being a pitcher on the Durham Bulls right now.”

That’s what Matt Buschmann, pitcher on the Durham Bulls, said after the Bulls drubbed the Gwinnett Braves, 8-1, for their seventh straight win. Durham maintained the best record in all of affiliated professional baseball, improving their record to 62-35.

“These guys just blow up at any given moment,” Buschmann continued. “You really can’t take a break in this lineup.”

Buschmann threw seven innings of four-hit, no-walk, one-run baseball last night.

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Darlene Clayton: From Baseball to Blood Spatter

Monday, July 8, 2013
Darlene Clayton

Photo by Leah Sobsey.

Next to the ticket window at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park is a glass-doored office. If you’ve ever taken the elevator down from the stadium to the first floor or exited through the back of the gift shop, you may have found yourself here, a cool, air-conditioned reception area through which members of the media, umpires, Bulls staff members, players and scouts all enter the ballpark. At the front desk sits a woman in her late sixties with twinkly eyes, a wide smile and a strong Southern accent.

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Durham Bulls rained out: Names, an off-day thought

Friday, June 28, 2013

Photo by Leah Sobsey.

It was nice and sunny in midafternoon yesterday while I interviewed Lehigh Valley IronPigs manager Dave Brundage. Brundage is familiar to Bulls fans over the last four years as the manager of the Gwinnett Braves, the Bulls’ most constant South Division rival. Prior to that, he managed the Braves’ Triple-A affiliate in Richmond, Virginia for two seasons. This year, he has changed affiliations.

I’ll have more on that some other time. Not long after the interview, the rains came suddenly and washed last night’s game away.

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Photo of the Day: Shaved Ice

Thursday, June 27, 2013
shaved ice

Photo by Leah Sobsey.

It’s almost July, and there’s a high of 90°F here in Durham today. We think these look especially delicious right now.

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