During Saturday night's game, the International League and its President Randy Mobley presented the 2013 Spirit of the International League Award to 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.
Bill 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 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, he became an iconic figure as the Bulls set attendance records in their new home. As PA announcer, Law reprised 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 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, he can be spotted presenting game balls on the field and spreading good will 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 DBAP.
"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 International League President Randy 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."
"Bill embodies everything good the Durham Bulls franchise stands for," added Bulls General Manager Mike Birling. "We are thrilled for him and his family, as this honor really sums up what he means to this organization and community."
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.