The Durham Bulls opened the 2005 season yesterday, Thursday, April 7, 2005, with a suspended 5 to 5 tie game against the Toledo Mudhens. The game will be completed on Friday at 6:00 PM, with the regularly scheduled game still on for 7:00 PM. Gates will open at 5:30 PM.
To begin their quest for a third International League title, the Bulls invited a champion to kick-off the game.
University of North Carolina basketball player and Durham native David Noel threw out the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day.
“We consider it a privilege to recognize our sports brethren when they win a title,” Durham Bulls General Manager Mike Birling said, “David was an obvious choice to represent the team as a native of the Bull City.”
Noel will threw out the first pitch shortly before the start of the game, and after the pre-game ceremonies, made himself available to sign autographs on the concourse.
A graduate of Southern High School in Durham, Noel has played a prominent role on each of the last three Tar Heel teams. He was a defensive standout in the NCAA championship game on Monday against Illinois and has scored nearly 500 career points and has more than 300 career rebounds as a Tar Heel.
The Bulls ended their 2004 season last September with a 77-67 record, making their sixth appearance in the play-offs in seven years. They lost the International League title to the Buffalo Bisons three games to two in the best of five series.
Tickets for the rest of the games in the Bulls 2005 season are available online at www.durhambulls.com, by phone at (919) 956-BULL or at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park Box Office.
Thanks to DBBC’s Matt DeMargel for this capcom story.