Bulls Hold First Practice, Rookies in Awe of Stadium
Posted April 5, 1999 7:00 a.m. EDT
DURHAM — Residents can already smell the freshly cut green grass in downtown Durham as anticipation grows for opening day at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
Tuesday night, the players hit the field for their first batting practice, and fans were in the stands cheering on the home team.
Dozens of die-hard fans turned out to meet the players, collect autographs, and get their first glimpse of the team.
The fans were not the only ones who were happy to be back in Durham. Many of the players returned for another season in Durham, and they were glad to be back at the D-BAP.
"I think if you're not going to be in the big leagues, this is the place to be," says player Scott McClain. "It's a beautiful park and the fans treat us very well. I really enjoy being here."
Manager Bill Evers says it is fun to see the new players' first impression of the facility.
"Well, one of them said, 'Can we refuse the assignment to the big league level?' That should tell you a little bit about how nice this facility is," Evers said.
Many of the same fans that attended the batting practice will be in the stands for Thursday's home opener, and some of them will be at the park for every game after that.
"I went to 66 games last year. Hopefully I'll go to all of them again this year," says Bulls fan Bill Sault.
The teams' first exhibition game is Thursday at 7:00 p.m. against the Richmond Braves.