The International League announced that the 2013 recipient of the Spirit of the International League Award is longtime Durham Bulls staffer Bill Law. The Award, created in 2010, is designed to recognize the essential role filled by individuals who are dedicated to helping make sure fans have the most enjoyable experience possible when visiting League ballparks.
Law has been a vital part of the Durham Bulls organization since 1993 and has embodied the ideal of service to the team, game and the fans while serving in several roles. He initially came on board to help the team administer a series of reunions for former Bulls players and executives as the Bulls wound down its five-decade stay at Durham Athletic Park.
When the current facility, Durham Bulls Athletic Park, opened in 1995, Law began a 12-year-run as the club's public address announcer. With his unique conversational style behind the microphone, Law became an iconic figure as the Bulls set attendance records in their new home. As P.A. announcer, Law was reprising his role with the old Raleigh Pirates of the Carolina League during the 1960's, during which time he concurrently served as Raleigh's Mayor Pro Tem.
In 2007, Law transitioned into the newly created role of team ambassador, since which time he has given hundreds of talks to civic clubs, professional organizations and school groups to convey his love of the game and the Bulls. His efforts directly led to the state of North Carolina issuing license tags bearing the Bulls logo. Most nights at the ballpark, the team ambassador can be spotted presenting game balls on the field and spreading goodwill in the stands.
The Raleigh Hot Stove League has benefitted from Bill's service for nearly 50 years, including the last 20 as President. In that capacity he has worked with all facets of the North Carolina baseball community in celebrating our game. To be closer to his true home, Bill and his wife Rhetta moved into the newly renovated American Tobacco campus apartments across the street from the ballpark.
During Saturday's game between the Bulls and the Gwinnett Braves, Law received his award from International League president Randy Mobley.
"While this is an International League award, Bill's love of and dedication to the Durham Bulls and the team's fans predates the team joining the Triple-A classification," said Mobley. "Tonight we honor and recognize Bill's tireless efforts over the years in promoting Durham Bulls baseball and his desire to make each and every fan's experience at the ballpark a memorable one."
The Spirit of the International League Award was created to help recognize individuals who work tirelessly to enhance the fan experience and significantly contribute to the overall success of the production that is today's Minor League Baseball game. International League ballparks are an integral part of their team's communities, and each season thousands of individuals dedicate themselves on a nightly basis to helping fans have the most enjoyable experience possible. While some are in more visible roles than others, each and every one of them is vital to the success of the operation of their team and the League.
The first three recipients of the Spirit of the International League Award were Toledo broadcasting icon Frank Gilhooley in 2010, Rochester team organist Fred Costello in 2011 and longtime Buffalo account executive Frank Mooney last season.