Project Follows A Year In The Life Of The Durham Bulls

Apr 9, 2013

"Bull City Summer," by Sam Stephenson
"Bull City Summer," by Sam Stephenson
Credit samstephenson.org

Yesterday was the first home game for the 2013 baseball season at Durham Bulls Athletic Park, and fans gathered to watch the heroic Bulls defeat the Gwinnett Braves.

Documentarian Sam Stephenson is fascinated by everything that happens in the Durham Bulls Athletic Park -- from the players themselves to the hot dog vendors. His interest has inspired the project Bull City Summer, which will document all 72 home games this season through literary and photographic arts.

Host Frank Stasio spoke with Sam Stephenson, director for Bull City Summer, a writer and professor of documentary studies and American studies at Duke and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, about all of the work that goes into creating all of this summer family fun.

“We’re going to document the baseball on the field, and we’re also going to go behind the scenes,” Sam says. “We’re going to let photographers do what they do in the park and see what they find.  We’ll see what goes on here in a place called ‘a park’ that makes it happen every year.”

Adam Sobsey, a writer with Bull City Summer, a playwright, a Durham Bulls beat writer for the Indy Weekly, and a columnist for Baseball Prospectus, has explored what makes minor league baseball, and particularly Triple-A baseball, special.

“Triple-A is not like any other level…it’s basically a holding pen for guys the major league club thinks they might need…They’re all essentially major league players,” Adam notes. “It’s a cross roads with guys who are multimillionaires lockering next to scrubs who are 22-years old…It is a remarkable melting pot of baseball talent and baseball stories.”

Adam and Sam and the rest of the team at Bull City Summer, hope to renew and refresh how the public thinks about minor league baseball; and to bring this American pastime into the present. Check for updates throughout the season at Bull City Summer.