||Birling Named International League Executive of the Year
Durham Bulls GM Mike Birling
The International League announced that Durham Bulls General Manager Mike Birling has been named International League Executive of the Year. He is the first Durham Bull ever to receive that award and the 24th different executive to win since the award was created in 1964. The announcement was made at the league meetings in Cincinnati in late September.
“I could not be more pleased with Mike’s selection as the League’s 2003 Executive of the Year,” International League President Randy Mobley said, “As one of the most outstanding young executives in not only the International League, but all of Minor League Baseball, Mike has a bright future in the industry. Considering many of his peers have decades of service within Minor League Baseball, it is quite the compliment for them to select Mike as their Executive of the Year in his first season as General Manager of the Bulls.”
As general manager of the Bulls, Birling helped the team achieve a paid attendance of over 500,000 for the third consecutive season, an amazing accomplishment considering the amount of rain that fell in the Triangle this summer. He also coordinated the operation for USA Baseball’s innaugural season at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, a season that produced over 28,000 fans in eight games.
“He’s a remarkable individual and a strong leader,” Durham Bulls Vice President George Habel said, “Mike led us through our most challenging season as a Triple-A team and produced outstanding results.”
Birling, 31, spent the previous four seasons as assistant general manager of the Bulls, handling most of the teams day-to-day operations. Prior to joining the Bulls, Birling worked for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Class A) of the Midwest League from 1994-1998, the last three seasons as General Manager. He was named Midwest League Executive of the Year in 1998. Birling began his career in sports in 1993 as an account executive for the LaCrosse Catbirds of the Continental Basketball Association. He resides in Morrisville with his wife of eight years, Amy, and their two sons Ty (4) and Alec (2).
Thanks to DBBC’s Matt DeMargel for this capcom story.