Diamond Baseball Holdings announced two personnel moves: Tyson Jeffers is departing the Hudson Valley Renegades (High-A; Sally League) to head up the Spartanburg ballpark and team debuting in 2025, with Zach Betkowski elevated to Renegades General Manager.
The relocating Down East Wood Ducks (Single-A; Carolina League) are moving to Spartanburg and a new downtown 3,500-seat ballpark tentatively for the 2025 season. The ballpark is the core of a $425-million development featuring 200,000 square feet of office space, entertainment, a 150-room hotel and 375 apartments. The city will build the ballpark with public money and lease it to the Wood Ducks.
Jeffers served as the Renegades General Manager since September 2022, overseeing two big events in team history: the first-ever ballpark naming-rights deal with Heritage Financial Credit Union and the largest privately funded ballpark improvement project in the facility’s history, which included the renovation of the current clubhouse, the building of a new batting tunnel structure, outfield wall and batter’s eye. He also worked hand-in-hand with Dutchess County in constructing the largest expansion and improvement project to the Dutchess County park since the team’s inception in 1994, which will be completed before the start of the 2024 season.
“It is always emotional to leave a place that you have invested so much into, and at a time that so much growth is happening, but I have peace of mind knowing that I am leaving it in the hands of a dedicated group that is determined to make this one of the top minor league teams in the country,” Jeffers said via press release. “What is happening with the Renegades is truly special, and I am excited to watch Zach lead the organization to new heights. I will always be a Renegade at heart, and I am blessed to have had the opportunity to be part of a transformative period of Renegades history.”
Jeffers came to the Renegades in early 2020 as the Vice President/Assistant General Manager before being elevated to General Manager. Before joining the Renegades, he spent eight seasons with the St. Paul Saints (independent; American Association), where he began as the Corporate Sales Activation Manager, before becoming the Ticket Sales manager and eventually the Director of Corporate Partnerships. In 2015, he helped the Saints open CHS Field, a 7,000-seat ballpark in downtown St. Paul. The expertise gained from opening CHS Field will be vital in opening up the new ballpark in Spartanburg.
“Tyson has made a tremendous impact on the success of the Renegades and the Hudson Valley community, and we’re thrilled to offer him the opportunity to create something equally as special in Spartanburg,” said Pat Battle and Peter Freund, DBH Executive Chairman and CEO, respectively, via press release. “We recognize in Zach an exceptional talent and are confident he will build on the Renegades’ incredible legacy as they enter into the franchise’s 30th anniversary next year.”
Betkowski steps into the General Manager role after serving as the team’s Assistant General Manager since September 2022. He joined the Hudson Valley Renegades in March 2021 as the team’s Director of Corporate Partnerships after four seasons with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Triple-A; International League).
“It’s a great day to be a Renegade!” said Betkowski. “Since I’ve arrived in the Hudson Valley, my family and I have fallen in love with this area, and I’m thrilled that I can continue to answer the call as a community leader in my role as General Manager. We have a tremendous staff here with the Renegades that I am proud to roll up my sleeves with every day. We look forward to the Renegades continuing to be the premier destination for affordable, family fun in the Hudson Valley, while also leading the charge as community pioneers that are dedicated to serving others.”
He began his career in 2014 with the Cortland Crush (summer collegiate; New York Collegiate Baseball League) before moving on to the Vermont Lake Monsters (Short Season A; New York-Penn League) for two seasons as the team’s Director of Promotions and Community Relations. Betkowski joined the IronPigs in October 2016 as the club’s Promotions and Entertainment Manager, before transitioning to become the Senior Manager of Corporate Partnerships in 2019. In his time with Lehigh Valley, the IronPigs won two Golden Bobblehead Awards, recognizing promotional excellence in Minor League Baseball, and won the 2019 Larry MacPhail Award for the top promotional team in MiLB.
With the Hudson Valley Renegades, Betkowski has been instrumental in two of the most-impactful corporate partnerships in team history–with Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth) and Heritage Financial Credit Union. Through those partnerships, the Renegades, WMCHealth and HFCU have donated hundreds of hours and tens of thousands of dollars toward improving lives and helping people in our community.
“In over a decade of working in this amazing industry, I’ve had some incredible mentors, and without them, I would have never made it to this point in my career,” Betkowski said via press release. “A special thank you goes out to Tyson Jeffers, who has prepared me to take the reins of this organization as he pursues an incredibly exciting opportunity within DBH. I’d also like to thank the DBH leadership team for providing me with this opportunity to lead the Renegades into the most exciting era of our franchise’s history.
“We plan to deliver our best season yet in 2024, as we celebrate our 30th anniversary season at Heritage Financial Park with the best fans and partners in Minor League Baseball.”
Betkowski was born in Queens, New York and grew up in the Capital Region in Colonie. He graduated from SUNY Cortland in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in Sport Management and a minor in Communication Studies.