Everything You Need to Know about the Durham Bulls

If you’re from Durham or you’ve ever visited the area, you’ve likely seen someone wearing a hat or shirt with the iconic bull charging through the Durham D, the logo for the Durham Bulls. If you sit down and have a conversation with them, you’ll realize just how passionate and knowledgeable fans of the Durham Bulls are. We’ve compiled some crucial knowledge and fun facts about the team’s past so that you can join in on the conversation.

In The Beginning They Were the Tobacconists
The team has a vast history—in fact, the team was founded in 1902 as the Durham Tobacconists. The first owner of the team was the President of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, William Bramham. After a decade, the Tobacconists became the Durham Bulls and entered the North Carolina League. The first game was won in April of 1913 in the current day East Campus of Duke University.

Major League Connections
Back in 1968, the Bulls merged with the team in Raleigh to become the Raleigh-Durham Mets. The Mets were an affiliate of the New York Mets. In the 1980 season, the team returned to its original name, the Durham Bulls, and became an affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, to which they would remain until 1998. Today, the Bulls are an affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays. Over the years, the team has fostered one Hall of Famer, Joe Morgan, whose #18 is retired by the team.

International League Championships
The Bulls have won the Governors’ Cup five times out of their 11 championship series. In 2002 and in 2003, they defeated the Buffalo Bisons and Pawtucket Red Sox, respectively. In 2009, they defeated the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees. In 2013, they defeated the Pawtucket Red Sox again, and in 2017, they overcame the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders. Their defeats came in 1998, 1999, 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2014.

Popular Culture
The team became well known around the country when the movie Bull Durham was released in 1988. The movie starred Kevin Costner and Tim Robbins as two members of the team and Susan Sarandon as their love interest.

This article was contributed by Trinity Commons at Erwin, an upscale apartment community featuring luxurious amenities and ideal location adjacent to Duke Medical Center.

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