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Durham Athletic Park

From BR Bullpen

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Durham Athletic Park in Durham, NC, was the home of Durham affiliated baseball from 1939 through 1994. In 1995, the Durham Bulls of the Carolina League began playing in its replacement and near namesake.

It also hosted Negro Leagues baseball in at least the 1950s.

El Toro Park, a wooden ballpark, opened on the same site in 1926. After the 1933 season, the city of Durham purchased the park and renamed it Durham Athletic Park. On June 17, 1939, "The DAP" burned to the ground, but within a month it had been replaced by a new concrete and steel grandstand and temporary bleachers. After the season, it was entirely rebuilt.

After more than two decades in the Carolina League, the Bulls merged with the nearby Raleigh club in 1968 and for four years split their home games between Durham Athletic Park and Raleigh's Devereux Meadow before folding prior to the 1972 season. The park was vacant for several years before another Bulls club began play in the Carolina League in 1980.

The new DAP gained fame in the film Bull Durham (1988) - and fortune as well, as it became the first Class A ballpark to draw 300,000 - but then retirement: When the Bulls outgrew it, the city built "The DBAP".

The film was shot in the fall of 1987, which explains "seeing the breath" of some of the actors in scenes ostensibly taking place on outdoor-Durham summer nights.

After the DBAP opened, the DAP housed concerts, festivals, a farmers' market, Women's Professional Softball and North Carolina Central University Eagles baseball. The new Bulls took a swing at nostalgia, playing a home game at the DAP in 2010 and 2011, but no annual series like the Rickwood Classic in Birmingham, AL, materialized. As part of the Foster and West Geer Streets Historic District, it joined the National Register of Historic Places in 2013.

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Durham Athletic Park.pngDAP recently before a [[NCCU game.