In a surely much-appreciated gesture, the Durham Bulls released a farewell letter of thanks to Mike Potter, the longtime Bulls beat writer who was laid off last week by the Durham Herald-Sun.
Matt DeMargel, publicity head for the Durham Bulls, solicited testimonials from the men and women who work in the press box—and the front office—during games.
May 17, 2009
For Immediate Release
AN OPEN LETTER OF THANKS TO MR. POTTER
Though his 24 years of covering the Durham Bulls for the Herald-Sun ended abruptly on Friday morning, Mike Potter will not soon be forgotten in the press box at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Several members of his Durham Bulls family have included a word of thanks for his years of service.
"Mike's stories always had a good angle, but never an agenda. He was consistently fair when writing about the team or the front office...and that's pretty remarkable considering how opinionated he could be in person! Also, I believe Mike cared about the Bulls' - it was more than just another assignment. There was always a flourish of creativity or depth to his stories about the Bulls." -Durham Bulls Vice President George Habel
"Thanks for the memories, Mike. The DBAP will never be the same without you here everyday. For the 10 years we have known each other you have been a great friend and great promoter of, not only Bulls baseball, but the sport in general. You have seen the great moments and the bad moment's right along with us, from getting married on our field, to spraying champagne after we won our championship. You are as much a part of Bulls baseball as any of the players that have come through and any of us in the front office." -Durham Bulls General Manager Mike Birling.
"I've probably had more than 800 pre-game meals while sitting and chatting with Mike in the press box. Those meals were great because Mike's conversations always provided the perfect seasoning. I'm going to miss my friend, Mike Potter." -Bulls Assistant General Manager Jon Bishop
"Mike, we had good times my 8 years in Durham. Best of luck."
-Former Bulls Manager Bill Evers
"Now I've got no one else to defend the liberal, if not the socialist, perspective. Twenty-one years of press box banter. Wow! You'll be missed, Mike." -Official Scorer Brent Belvin
"Mike, the Press Box will never be the same without you. The memories of you will always be with us. May God bless and take care of you and your family as you move on." -Head Press Box Attendant Barbara Goss
"Dear Mike, your passion for the Bulls and baseball is why we enjoyed seeing you at the ballpark. We'll certainly miss you a great deal." -Bulls Radio Announcer Neil Solondz
"In the middle of the 1985 baseball season, then Bulls General Manager Rob Dlugozima introduced me to a young sports writer who had just arrived from Danville, VA. His name was Mike Potter. That first day we met together with Bulls Manager Harry Bright, the first of many interviews we would do together over the next two decades. Over the years I always found Mike to be an interesting and talkative mate in the press box with a firm opinion on many different subjects. But first and foremost, he is a fine writer with a passion for our game. Over the same years, I'm positive that Mike had more bylines in the Herald and it's predecessor, the Durham-Sun, then any other member of the sports staff. Mike is a hard worker and a credit to our profession and I hope that I'll have the opportunity to work with him many times in the future." -Bulls PA Announcer Tony Riggsbee
"Hi Mike, there is a big gap in the Press Box without your presence. Today I'm remembering some of the good times we had covering the Bulls! You had great insight and rich history of the Bulls team. You worked very hard on your team coverage and that showed up in each day's report. I'm sure good things will happen soon. You're a great writer. Please come and see us again soon. May you have the best of everything starting now" -Bulls Radio Announcer Ken Tanner
"Bulls baseball without Mike Potter, impossible; the Press Box without Mike Potter, unbelievable. You leave a big void, friend."-Bulls Ambassador Bill Law
"On behalf of USA Baseball, Mike, we'll miss you. You always "got it" when it came to our organization and what it was we were trying to accomplish both globally and here in the Triangle. We appreciate the coverage and for the genuine interest in the product we put on the field, whether it be our Collegiate National Team or last year's Olympic Team. The pressbox at our games each summer at the DBAP won't be the same without you." -USA Baseball PR Director Jake Fehling
"Potter - You are by far the most unique and interesting character we have had in our press box. Besides giving us great coverage, you also were a great contributor to the scene on the third level. Your sarcasm and wit is legendary and will not be forgotten. Thanks for not giving this intern a hard time. You will be missed." -Durham Bulls Asst. PR Director Wes Skipwith
And finally, Mike, I still remember the first lunch we had at Bullock's BBQ back in February, 2001 when I just started with the Bulls. Over eight years later, I never would have imagined how many wild conversations we would share. Good luck to you, my friend. I know we all look forward to seeing you again at the ballpark soon.
Durham Bulls slightly less busy PR Director