We have personnel news to report from the Birmingham Barons (Class AA; Southern League) and the Victoria HarbourCats (summer collegiate; West Coast League).
In Birmingham, the Barons have announced several additions to their front office staff.
The additions include: Timmy Hinds, director of stadium operations, Cory Ausderau, group sales manager, Dawn Zink, premium services manager, Jesse Feldman, media relations assistant, Zach Van Voorhees, head groundskeeper, Lauren Watkins, director of retail sales, Sarah Moon, catering manager ,Angela Cagle, general manager – The SwitchYard on 14th and JB Costello and Lindsey Shirley, ticketing.
Timmy Hinds, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, begins the 2017 season as the Director of Stadium Operations. This will be Hinds’ fifth season in affiliated baseball. He spent the previous two seasons with the Beloit Snappers; Class-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics as the Director of Operations. Prior to that he spent two years in the Operations Department with the New Orleans Zephyrs; Triple-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins.
Cory Ausderau is entering his second season in professional baseball as a Group Sales Manager and Faith Based Outreach Coordinator. The 2010 Auburn graduate was the Marketing Intern in 2016.
Dawn Zink is entering her second season with the Barons, and first in her role as Premium Services Manager. Zink was a Suite Attendant for the Barons in 2016. The Florida native served as an Air Traffic Control Officer in the Air Force for 12 years prior to her start in affiliated baseball.
Jesse Feldman enters his first season with the Barons and second in professional baseball as the Media Relations Assistant in 2017. The 2015 graduate of Ithaca College spent last season working in the Broadcasting department for the Tampa Bay Rays.
Zach Van Voorhees joins the Barons as the organization’s Head Groundskeeper. The Vanceboro, N.C. native comes to Birmingham after serving as the Head Groundskeeper for the Hickory Crawdads; Low-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers. This will be Van Voorhees’ ninth season in professional baseball.
Lauren Watkins begins the 2017 season as the Barons’ Director of Retail Sales. Watkins recently graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in Fashion Merchandising. Her previous experience includes interning at Belk’s corporate headquarters in Charlotte, N.C.
Sarah Moon and Angela Cagle both join the Barons’ front office in food and administration roles. Moon will serve as the Barons’ Catering Manager, while Cagle is responsible for managing the new Regions Field food option, The SwitchYard on 14th.
Lindsey Shirley joins the Barons in 2017 as a Flex Ticket Specialist. This will be the University of North Alabama graduate’s eighth season working in baseball, with five of those season spent volunteering for her high school and college team. During the past two years, Shirley interned with the Palm Springs Power and the Johnson City Cardinals.
JB Costello begins his first year with the Barons, also as a Flex Ticket Specialist. Costello graduated from the University of Alabama in 2016, with a degree in Public Relations.
The Barons have also hired interns in multiple departments for the 2017 season. The list of interns include Harry Fisher and Jaylin McCurdy in group sales, Lindsey Woodard in premium services, Taryn Fink and Jenna Swafford in marketing, Nicole Siggers in merchandise, Bradley Bramblett and John McCracken in ticketing, Hope Finley in video production, Saralynn Campbell, Josh Freund and Emily Forloines in catering and Nick Sacco and John Hudson in stadium operations.
“Our staff has worked hard over the last several months preparing for our fifth season at Regions Field, Barons general manager Jonathan Nelson said. “We believe we will once again provide Birmingham great family entertainment with all of our fun promotions as well as exciting baseball on the field in 2017. We are fortunate to have a great staff that includes several folks that have been with us for a few years along with some new individuals this season.”
In Victoria, the HarbourCats have added Steve Duffy to their broadcast team for the Shaw TV Game of the Week.
Jonathan Hodgson returns in 2017 as play-by-play voice of HarbourCats broadcasts and will be joined by veteran Victoria sports media personality, Steve Duffy for the Shaw TV Game of the Week.
Duffy will join Hodgson in the booth to form the broadcast team for Shaw TV broadcasts.
Sports fans in Victoria will be familiar with Duffy as a popular radio personality and commentator throughout his storied 44-year career covering the Victoria sports landscape.
Duffy began in Victoria as a sports reporter on 1220 CKDA in the 1970’s. In 1995, the station became 100.3 The Q, where Duffy remained until 2003.
Duffy spent the last 14 years at CFAX 1070 where he most notably co-hosted the morning show with Al Ferraby.
Duffy became well known for his commentary, notably ‘Steve Duffy’s Sports Comment’, which after the team’s inception in 2013, would frequently highlight the HarbourCats.
This will be Hodgson’s second season as voice of the HarbourCats. In addition to leading the team’s broadcasts, Hodgson is the HarbourCats communications director as well as a baseball advisor. He is currently the Online Communications Coordinator for the West Coast League and a featured writer with the Canadian Baseball Network, founded and led by 2012 J.G. Taylor Spink Award Winner Bob Elliott.
Hodgson has contributed stories to the Toronto Blue Jays, and prior to Victoria, spent eight seasons as broadcast voice of the Okotoks Dawgs.
The HarbourCats have once again partnered with Go LIVE Broadcasts to provide coverage of all home games during the 2017 West Coast League season.
All 27 regular season games plus exhibition and possible home playoff games will be carried live on the team website, www.harbourcats.com. Broadcasts are produced by Go LIVE Broadcasts, led by Chris Jaycox, and provide a top quality production with four high definition cameras, offered on a pay-per-view basis.
An exciting new feature in 2017 is the introduction of HarbourCats in Five. Go LIVE Broadcasts will produce a five-minute highlight compilation following every home game, using clips from that day’s broadcast. It will be distributed daily through the HarbourCats website and social media platforms.
“Adding Steve Duffy to the broadcast team for the Shaw TV broadcasts is a real bonus for the HarbourCats, and he and Jonathan will form an entertaining duo,” said managing partner Jim Swanson.
“Few know the Victoria sports landscape like Steve, and fewer yet understand the background of collegiate baseball and the West Coast League like Jonathan, with his history. It will be a treat for our viewers, through Shaw and our streaming platform.”
The third member of the HarbourCats broadcast crew in 2017 is Mike Edwards. Edwards is a native of Victoria currently attending the Sports Media program and Ryerson University in Toronto.
Edwards will assist the HarbourCats media and broadcast teams in a variety of roles throughout the season. He will become familiar to broadcast viewers as leader of ‘Around the WCL’, a daily feature focusing on news and updates from the West Coast League.
Edwards will contribute to the team’s social media platforms throughout the season and lead gameday and in-game social media coverage. He will also provide assistance as needed in the production of HarbourCats in Five.
“I am extremely excited about the upcoming season of HarbourCats’ broadcasts,” says HarbourCats broadcaster Jonathan Hodgson. “I look forward to working with Steve Duffy, who will be a tremendous addition to our Shaw TV broadcasts. He is a true professional who brings unmatched knowledge and experience with the Victoria sports landscape that will take our broadcasts to the next level.”
“Mike Edwards is an ambitious, aspiring broadcaster who will complement our team very well, and help us in a variety of ways,” says Hodgson.
The first edition of HarbourCats broadcasts is June 5 when the Wenatchee AppleSox visit Victoria for Opening Night at Royal Athletic Park. First pitch flies at 6:35pm.
The final schedule for Shaw TV broadcasts will be announced in the near future.