banner
Bull City Summer

Baseball camp always bigger at DBAP

Posted August 12, 2013

— An army of kids stream into the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, their eyes wide. This is it, the big time, the world’s best minor league field, and they’re about to take it like the Visigoths took Rome.

They’ve made it to the show.

Okay, so maybe it’s just one of the baseball camps the Durham Bulls sponsor every summer, but it feels bigger than that. Not only are these kids going to play on a professional field, they’re going to be coached by professional players. Could be Jason Bourgeois, might be Vince Belnome or Kirby Yates. The line-up changes from day to day, but it’s guaranteed that each day of camp is going to put them in direct contact with guys who play ball for a living.

Summer camp at DBAP Slideshow: Summer camp at DBAP

Which, coincidentally, is what these kids are pretty sure they’ll be doing one day, too.

The kids range from ages seven through fourteen. Most of them are boys, but there’s a sprinkling of girls as well. Hats pledge allegiance to the Braves, the Mets, the Phillies, the Rays, and most of all, to the Durham Bulls. At least four campers are dressed in full North Wake Little League regalia, and the South Granville and Wilkes County All-Stars are also represented. On day one of camp, some kids show up without caps or sports bags, but by day two, everybody’s got the gear down.

When they first arrive, the unflappable Mary Beth Warrford, the Bulls’ special events coordinator, directs the campers to the second-tier bleachers behind home plate and lays down the law: Stay outside of the infield at all times. No exceptions. Bags have to be on the dirt, not the grass. She calls out age groups and sends each one to a station — pitching, fielding, conditioning or batting.

The eleven-year-olds head off to right field do conditioning with Dan Rousseau, the Bulls’ strength and conditioning coach. Over in center field, Jason Bourgeois instructs nine- and ten-year-olds in the basics of fielding as he lobs balls at them. You’ve got to catch the ball before you can do anything with it, he tells them. You’ve gotta be ready for the ball. You’ve got to want the ball.

Pitchers Adam Liberatore and Kirby Yates are towering presences in left field. Next to them, the seven- and nine-year olds are barely visible, but they’re clearly committed to throwing strikes — or at least to getting the ball in the general vicinity of the catcher’s mitt. The older kids, the twelve-through-fourteens, are down in the batting cages with Vince Belnome and Craig Albernaz, hitting balls off tees and getting feedback from a caliber of athlete most of them have only seen on TV screens or from right field seats.

The afternoons are an ecstatic riot of scrimmages. You can stay with your age group or you can migrate over to the part of the field where your little brother is playing, and so things are a little more chaotic. Some of the seven- and eight-year olds, armed with plastic cups of water and handfuls of ice, abandon baseball entirely in favor of getting each other soaking wet.

Each day of the three-day camp ends with the coaches sitting behind a long table, autographing shirts, balls, gloves, hats and arms. These guys get paid to be here, but you can tell they’re having fun. After all, it hasn’t been that long since they were the tongue-tied kids getting baseball cards signed. Handing back the caps and the shirts, they look across the table at kids who are dreaming the same dreams they used to dream. They’re looking at the future of baseball. “Good luck,” they tell the kids, and the kids nod back, expressions serious. “You, too,” they say, and then run off, yelling to their moms and little brothers and sisters, waving their prizes in the air.

Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Golf: WGC-Dell Match Play Championship

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NASL: NCFC vs. Miami

    Saturday at 7:30 pm on WRAL-2

  • NASL Soccer: Miami @ North Carolina FC

    Saturday at 7:30 pm on WRAL-2

  • NASCAR: Auto Club 400

    Sunday at 3:00 pm on FOX50

  • Golf: WGC-Dell Match Play Championship

    Sunday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NASL: NCFC @ San Francisco

    Saturday, Apr. 8 at 10:00 pm on WRAL-2

  • NASL: NCFC vs. Edmonton

    Saturday, Apr. 15 at 7:30 pm on WRAL-2

  • NASL: NCFC @ Miami

    Saturday, Apr. 22 at 7:30 pm on WRAL-2

  • NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at Montreal Canadians

    Tonight at 7:30 on 99.9 The Fan

  • College Basketball NCAA 3rd Round Coverage

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NASL: NCFC vs. Maimi

    Saturday at 7:30 pm

  • NASL: NCFC @ San Francisco

    Saturday, Apr. 8 at 10:00 pm

  • NASL: NCFC vs. Edmonton

    Saturday, Apr. 15 at 7:30 pm

  • NASL: NCFC @ Miami

    Saturday, Apr. 22 at 7:30 pm

Men's College Basketball
NCAA Tournament
#7
4:09 PT5:09 MT6:09 CT7:09 ET11:09 GMT7:09 北京时间4:09 MST6:09 EST
Preview
#3
#4
4:39 PT5:39 MT6:39 CT7:39 ET11:39 GMT7:39 北京时间4:39 MST6:39 EST
Preview
#1
#4
6:39 PT7:39 MT8:39 CT9:39 ET1:39 GMT9:39 北京时间6:39 MST8:39 EST
Preview
#1
#11
7:09 PT8:09 MT9:09 CT10:09 ET2:09 GMT10:09 北京时间7:09 MST9:09 EST
Preview
#2
NBA Scoreboard
Toronto 4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET23:30 GMT7:30 4:30 MST6:30 EST3:30 UAE (+1)00:3019:30 ET5:30 CTNaN:�
Preview
Miami 
Phoenix 4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET23:30 GMT7:30 4:30 MST6:30 EST3:30 UAE (+1)00:3019:30 ET5:30 CTNaN:�
Preview
Brooklyn 
LA Clippers 5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 MST7:30 EST4:30 UAE (+1)01:3020:30 ET6:30 CTNaN:�
Preview
Dallas 
Memphis 5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 MST7:30 EST4:30 UAE (+1)01:3020:30 ET6:30 CTNaN:�
Preview
San Antonio 
New York 7:00 PT8:00 MT9:00 CT10:00 ET2:00 GMT10:00 7:00 MST9:00 EST6:00 UAE (+1)03:0022:00 ET8:00 CTNaN:�
Preview
Portland 
NHL Scoreboard
Tampa Bay 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET23:00 GMT7:00 4:00 MST6:00 EST3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ETNaN:� BRT
Preview
Boston 
Columbus 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET23:00 GMT7:00 4:00 MST6:00 EST3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ETNaN:� BRT
Preview
Washington 
New Jersey 4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET23:30 GMT7:30 4:30 MST6:30 EST3:30 UAE (+1)19:30 ETNaN:� BRT
Preview
Toronto 
Carolina 4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET23:30 GMT7:30 4:30 MST6:30 EST3:30 UAE (+1)19:30 ETNaN:� BRT
Preview
Montreal 
Pittsburgh 4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET23:30 GMT7:30 4:30 MST6:30 EST3:30 UAE (+1)19:30 ETNaN:� BRT
Preview
Ottawa 
Arizona 4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET23:30 GMT7:30 4:30 MST6:30 EST3:30 UAE (+1)19:30 ETNaN:� BRT
Preview
Florida 
Vancouver 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 MST7:00 EST4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ETNaN:� BRT
Preview
St. Louis 
Calgary 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 MST7:00 EST4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ETNaN:� BRT
Preview
Nashville 
Philadelphia 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 MST7:00 EST4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ETNaN:� BRT
Preview
Minnesota 
Dallas 5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 MST7:30 EST4:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ETNaN:� BRT
Preview
Chicago 
Edmonton 6:00 PT7:00 MT8:00 CT9:00 ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 MST8:00 EST5:00 UAE (+1)21:00 ETNaN:� BRT
Preview
Colorado 
Winnipeg 7:30 PT8:30 MT9:30 CT10:30 ET2:30 GMT10:30 7:30 MST9:30 EST6:30 UAE (+1)22:30 ETNaN:� BRT
Preview
Los Angeles 
MLB Spring Training
Cactus
Cincinnati 1:05 PT2:05 MT3:05 CT4:05 ET16:05 ET20:05 GMT4:05 1:05 MST3:05 EST3:35 VEN0:05 UAE (+1)2:05 CT
Chi White Sox 
Colorado 1:05 PT2:05 MT3:05 CT4:05 ET16:05 ET20:05 GMT4:05 1:05 MST3:05 EST3:35 VEN0:05 UAE (+1)2:05 CT
Cleveland 
Milwaukee 1:05 PT2:05 MT3:05 CT4:05 ET16:05 ET20:05 GMT4:05 1:05 MST3:05 EST3:35 VEN0:05 UAE (+1)2:05 CT
Oakland 
LA Angels 1:10 PT2:10 MT3:10 CT4:10 ET16:10 ET20:10 GMT4:10 1:10 MST3:10 EST3:40 VEN0:10 UAE (+1)2:10 CT
San Diego 
Chi Cubs 1:10 PT2:10 MT3:10 CT4:10 ET16:10 ET20:10 GMT4:10 1:10 MST3:10 EST3:40 VEN0:10 UAE (+1)2:10 CT
Arizona 
LA Dodgers 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 MST6:05 EST6:35 VEN3:05 UAE (+1)5:05 CT
Texas 
Seattle 6:05 PT7:05 MT8:05 CT9:05 ET21:05 ET1:05 GMT9:05 6:05 MST8:05 EST8:35 VEN5:05 UAE (+1)7:05 CT
San Francisco 
Grapefruit
Pittsburgh0Bot
4th
Boston6
NY Mets0Bot
3rd
Washington1
Minnesota3Bot
5th
Philadelphia2
Miami3Bot
4th
St. Louis3
NY Yankees0Bot
4th
Tampa Bay1
Detroit 3:05 PT4:05 MT5:05 CT6:05 ET18:05 ET22:05 GMT6:05 3:05 MST5:05 EST5:35 VEN2:05 UAE (+1)4:05 CT
Atlanta 
WGC Match Play (PGA)
Leader in BOLD/CAPS
MatchHScore
WATSON v Piercy154 and 3
Pieters v VEGAS173 and 1
Matsuyama v FISHER161 up
Oosthuizen v FURYK152 up
Reed v KISNER131 up
KOEPKA v Dufner136 and 5
NOREN v Wiesberger123 up
Molinari v JAIDEE116 up
Kuchar v Johnson10AS
FLEETWOOD v Steele92 up
JOHNSON v Kaymer83 up
WALKER v Simpson82 up
Willett v HAAS73 up
Knox v KIM73 up
THOMAS v Na51 up
Fitzpatrick v Wood5AS
MICKELSON v Berger42 up
Holmes v KIM32 up
Day v WESTWOOD0 and 18
Leishman v PEREZ21 up
Hatton v WANG11 up
Cabrera Bello v Howell III00 and 18
Garcia v Chappell00 and 18
Rahm v Lowry00 and 18
Grace v McGirt00 and 18
Snedeker v Sullivan00 and 18
McIlroy v Woodland00 and 18
Grillo v Kjeldsen00 and 18
Casey v An00 and 18
Schwartzel v Luiten00 and 18
Spieth v Ikeda00 and 18
Moore v Tanihara00 and 18
View Full Leaderboard
Puerto Rico Open (PGA)
PosNameScoreThru
1T. Mullinax-918
2D. Points-818
3tB. Lunde-718
3tX. Schauffele-718
5tR. Barnes-618
5tD. Hearn-618
5tJ. Poston-618
5tK. Tway-618
5tH. Varner III-618
10tS. Brown-518
View Full Leaderboard
 
Kia Classic (LPGA)
PosNameScoreThru
1M. Martin-512
2tA. Munoz-416
2tC. Masson-412
4tN. Hataoka-314
4tH. Nomura-313
4tC. Kerr-311
4tM. Lee-311
4tJ. Yan-39
9tA. Ernst-217
9tI. Park-212
View Full Leaderboard
 
WGC Match Play (EURO)
Leader in BOLD/CAPS
MatchHScore
WATSON v Piercy154 and 3
Pieters v VEGAS173 and 1
Matsuyama v FISHER161 up
Oosthuizen v FURYK152 up
Reed v KISNER131 up
KOEPKA v Dufner136 and 5
NOREN v Wiesberger123 up
Molinari v JAIDEE116 up
Kuchar v Johnson10AS
FLEETWOOD v Steele92 up
JOHNSON v Kaymer83 up
WALKER v Simpson82 up
Willett v HAAS73 up
Knox v KIM73 up
Thomas v Na5AS
Fitzpatrick v Wood5AS
MICKELSON v Berger42 up
Holmes v KIM32 up
Day v WESTWOOD0 and 18
Leishman v PEREZ21 up
Hatton v WANG11 up
Cabrera Bello v Howell III00 and 18
Garcia v Chappell00 and 18
Rahm v Lowry00 and 18
Grace v McGirt00 and 18
Snedeker v Sullivan00 and 18
McIlroy v Woodland00 and 18
Grillo v Kjeldsen00 and 18
Casey v An00 and 18
Schwartzel v Luiten00 and 18
Spieth v Ikeda00 and 18
Moore v Tanihara00 and 18
View Full Leaderboard
 
ATP Scoreboard
Thursday, Mar. 23
Miami Open (ATP/WTA)
First Round
A. Mannarino78 6    
B. Becker66 3    
N. Basilashvi6 4 2   
T. Robredo3 6 6   
Y. Lu6 6    
C. Ruud2 1    
A. Seppi6 6    
R. Albot4 4    
D. Dzumhur3 6 3   
H. Chung6 1 4   
M. Granollers66 6 2   
B. Coric78 4 0   
K. Khachanov4 2    
D. Schwartzma6 3    
D. King 
L. Lacko 
F. Mayer 
A. Rublev 
K. Kravchuk 
F. Tiafoe 
G. Elias 
H. Zeballos 
R. Haase 
M. Ymer 
A. Dolgopolov 
M. Jaziri 
B. Tomic 
M. Kukushkin 
D. Istomin 
A. Kuznetsov 
S. Robert 
T. Bellucci 
 
WTA Scoreboard
Thursday, Mar. 23
Miami Open (ATP/WTA)
Second Round
(26) M. Lucic-Baro6 2 77   
K. Bondarenko2 6 62   
(2) K. Pliskova6 6    
M. Brengle1 3    
(29) A. Konjuh64 78 2   
K. Flipkens77 66 6   
(23) D. Gavrilova2 2    
L. Safarova6 6    
(4) D. Cibulkova6 5    
V. Cepede Roy3 2    
(30) S. Zhang4 6 1   
S. Errani6 4 2   
(27) Y. Putintseva1     
C. Witthoeft2     
(17) A. Pavlyuchen 
Y. Shvedova 
(5) A. Radwanska 
Q. Wang 
(18) C. Vandeweghe 
J. Cepelova 
(19) A. Sevastova 
S. Cirstea 
(15) B. Strycova 
J. Larsson 
(12) C. Wozniacki 
V. Lepchenko 
(9) E. Svitolina 
B. Mattek-San 
(13) E. Vesnina 
A. Tomljanovi 
(6) G. Muguruza 
C. McHale