May 19, 2012
Durham, N.C. — In an on-field ceremony prior to Saturday night's game against the Charlotte Knights, the Durham Bulls officially retired jersey No. 20 in honor of longtime manager Bill Evers.
The jersey retirement came as a surprise to Evers, who was in town to be inducted into the International League Hall of Fame. He is the first Triple-A era Durham Bull to be welcomed into the league’s Hall of Fame.
During the pregame ceremony, the winningest skipper in club history was presented with his game worn jersey No. 20, which will never be worn again by a member of the Bulls. Evers is the third person to have his jersey retired by the organization, joining MLB Hall of Famer Joe Morgan (No. 18) and Crash Davis (No. 8) of Bull Durham fame.
“It’s easy to talk about all of the amazing accomplishments Bill had as manager of the Bulls, but what I will remember is the relationship we developed,” said Durham Bulls General Manager Mike Birling. “The loyalty and respect all of his coaches and players had for him is the true testament of the person.”
With 613 victories in Durham, Evers won more games than any other manager in club history. His clubs made six playoff appearances between 1998 and 2004, sweeping their way to a pair of Governors' Cup Championships (2002 and 2003) along the way.
A two-time member of the International League All-Star coaching staff, Evers left the Bulls in 2006 to join the Tampa Bay Rays as Joe Maddon’s bench coach. Prior to his stint as bench coach, his first 30 years in baseball were spent at the Minor League level, including nineteen as a manager. He is currently the Rays minor league field coordinator.