Former Durham Bulls Skipper Bill Eversis enjoying his work as the field coordinator for the Tampa Bay Rays rookie league teams.
by Kelly Parsons
After eight years of managing the Durham Bulls, Bill Evers now frequently finds himself in the Dominican Republic or Venezuela. But these trips don’t serve as tropical vacations for the veteran coach and manager.
Evers now works as the field coordinator for the Rays’ rookie league teams. His job is to make sure that the players on those squads understand the way in which the single, double and triple A teams in the United States are operated.
After spending time as both a manager and bench coach, Evers’ new gig is different from what he’s used to – and it presents entirely new challenges.
“When you have your own team, you can put your stamp on how things are going to be throughout the whole course of the year and what you expect out of the 25 guys,” Evers said. “Whereas actually going to different teams, you try and make the impact you can within a short period of time.”
Though it might be tough splitting his time between several different teams, few people are more qualified for the job than Evers.
After a brief professional career playing first baseman in the Chicago Cubs’ system, Evers began coaching in 1980 when he served as catching instructor for the Cubs. He coached during the next several years before beginning his managerial career in 1987 with the Clinton Giants.
From 1998-2005 Evers managed the Durham Bulls, leading the club to three league championships. Under Evers’ direction, the Bulls won back-to-back league championships in 2002 and 2003 – making Evers only the sixth manager ever to lead his team to consecutive International League titles.
There’s no doubt he saw a successful career in Durham. But the modest Evers doesn’t solely attribute it to his own abilities.
“When you have good players it makes you a good manager,” Evers said. “We were fortunate in the eight years I was here, six years we went to the playoffs. I just attribute it to consistency in how I managed and the coaches I had with me.”
Evers gushed about the players he’s coached during his lengthy career. When asked to name some of the memorable ones, the proud Evers noted he couldn’t name just one.
Evers said he was thankful for the opportunity to coach and manage in the minor leagues, because it gave him the chance to help make his players’ dreams come true.
“It’s very rewarding in that hopefully you’ve made some kind of impact on them to help them get through their journey and help them get to the big leagues where they want to be,” Evers said. “And not only just to stay there for a short period of time, but to have some longevity.”
And if anyone knows something about longevity in baseball, it’s Evers. The man has been in the business of baseball for 35 years – and he doesn’t plan on quitting any time soon.
“I feel very fortunate to still be in a kids’ game – it’s the kids that have kept me young and vibrant and wanting to come to the ballpark every day,” he said. “As long as there are things to do and people give you the opportunity, I’d love to do this as long as possible.”
Thanks to DBBC’s Kelly Parsons for this capcom story & photo.