The Breakthrough Series Moves to the Triangle-Area of N.C

USA Baseball National Training Complex and Durham Bulls Athletic Park to play host to games




DURHAM, N.C.- Major League Baseball (MLB) and USA Baseball announced Monday that the third annual Breakthrough Series will move to the Triangle-area of North Carolina in 2010, July 26-30. Held at the MLB Urban Youth Academy in Compton, Calif. from 2008-2009, the Breakthrough Series is designed to showcase rising high school junior and senior baseball players from urban areas throughout the United States. Invited athletes typically have not participated in other travel and high-end tournaments prior to the Breakthrough Series, providing them with an opportunity for exposure. The event will consist of instruction and a round-robin series followed by a championship game produced for television and featuring rosters comprised of standout players selected from among the four participating teams. "Major League Baseball is excited to showcase the Breakthrough Series at USA Baseball’s state-of-the art National Training Complex and the Durham Bulls Athletic Park as an important part of our continuing efforts to strengthen amateur baseball," said Jimmie Lee Solomon, Executive Vice President, Baseball Operations, Major League Baseball. "Expanding the academic and athletic opportunities available to our game's promising young players through the exposure of the Breakthrough Series remains a priority of Major League Baseball." Games will be played both at the USA Baseball National Training Complex (NTC) in Cary, N.C. and the Durham Bulls Athletic Park (DBAP), located in downtown Durham, N.C. A tentative schedule is as follows:

Monday, July 26 -- Arrival day, welcome dinner, Durham Bulls game Tuesday, July 27 -- Player testing day (morning at NTC), afternoon games at the NTC Wednesday, July 28 -- Double header for all teams, four games total at the NTC Thursday, July 29 -- Playoff round: championship and third place games at the DBAP Friday, July 30 -- Departure day

"We have been a proud partner of the Breakthrough Series since its inception," said Paul Seiler, Executive Director/CEO of USA Baseball. "To now have the opportunity to help host it is an honor, and we are excited for Triangle-area citizens to be able to experience this unique, exciting event."

“We’re happy to assist our friends at USA Baseball and MLB in hosting the Breakthrough Series at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park,” Durham Bulls General Manager Mike Birling said. “This is a great event for these kids and it is a privilege for us to participate.”

Many college coaches are expected to attend the event to recruit players who demonstrate outstanding potential but who may not have had the opportunity for exposure through other summer events. The tournament will consist of eighty players selected by the Major League Scouting Bureau, the MLB Urban Youth Academy, the Atlanta-based organization Mentoring Viable Prospects (MVP), the Chicago White Sox and USA Baseball. USA Baseball will work with the athletes to facilitate communication between players and college recruiters.

“In its short history, the Breakthrough Series has proven to be an excellent avenue for Major League scouts and college recruiters to see some of the nation's best amateur players from urban areas,” said Frank Marcos, Director of the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau. “The MLB Scouting Bureau is looking forward to identifying and scouting these players on behalf of Major League Baseball.” This 2010 Breakthrough Series will feature athletes from across the U.S., making it a truly national showcase event. USA Baseball pays for each player’s expenses and works closely with all of the selected participants leading up to the event, distributing information to both players and parents.

The USA Baseball National Training Complex opened in the summer of 2007. Since then the four-field, world class facility has hosted a variety of USA Baseball events and teams, including the bronze medal-winning 2008 U.S. Olympic Baseball Team and the gold medal-winning 2009 World Cup Team. The complex was also the home of the 2008 UNC – Chapel Hill Tar Heels baseball team, whose on-field success that season also earned them to right to host a regional and super-regional in Cary.

“Cary Tennis Park has its own place in my heart because of how many wonderful wins and horrific losses I have had there,” Sullivan says. “Since I was about 10, I have been going to CTP and I always enjoyed my time there, even when my results weren't up to my expectations. I've literally shed blood, sweat and tears on those courts. When I go back now, it's so nostalgic for me because of how much those courts mean to me.”

The Durham Bulls Athletic Park was designed by HOK Sport + Venue + Event, architects of Camden Yards in Baltimore, Jacobs Field in Cleveland, Coors Field in Colorado along with many other stadiums opened in the past 10 years. The $16-million brick ballpark opened in 1995 and was expanded to a 10,000-seat capacity for the 1998 season, the year the Bulls began playing in the Triple-A International League.

For more information on the Breakthrough Series, please contact Rick Riccobono at or (919) 474-8721 x214.

About USA Baseball
USA Baseball is the National Governing Body of amateur baseball in the United States and is a member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). The organization selects and trains the World Baseball Classic Team and World Cup Team (and all other USA Baseball Professional Teams); the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team; the USA Baseball 18U, 16U and 14U National Teams; and the USA Baseball Women’s National Team, all of which participate in various international competitions each year. USA Baseball also presents the Golden Spikes Award annually to the top player in college baseball. For more information, please visit and

Contact: Jake Fehling, USA Baseball
(919) 474-8721 x225

Steve Arocho, Major League Baseball
(212) 931-7878