Zolzer Continues To Bring The Fun To Hudson Valley Renegades Games

Hudson Valley Renegades Vice President Rick Zolzer has been entertaining crowds from the PA booth at Dutchess Stadium for 22 of the New York Penn League team’s 25 years. He brings a unique perspective on minor league baseball—not only because of his poking-fun, party-first approach to the game—but also because he doubles as a team executive and public-address announcer.

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A Bronx native who moved to the Hudson Valley as a child, Zolzer is a household name in the region, where he has worked as a sports-talk radio host, served as the public-address announcer for the NBA’s New Jersey Nets and Army West Point’s football team, and runs his own party entertainment company. However, he says, his first and true love is baseball, in particular the Renegades. That’s what led him to be an early advocate for the team before it relocated from Erie, Pa., in 1994 and why he continues to strive to find new ways to entertain fans who come to the ballpark.

What follows is my conversation with Zolzer about his career in minor league baseball and advice for others in the gameday entertainment side of the business. The transcript has been edited in spots for length and clarity.

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Storm Batters Hudson Valley Renegades’ Dutchess Stadium

Steve Gliner didn’t think much of the tornado warnings that buzzed across his phone as he sat in his office at Dutchess Stadium yesterday afternoon. The Hudson Valley Renegades president look outside and saw nothing but clear skies—a seemingly perfect day for a ballgame a month from now when the New York-Penn League season begins.

That all changed a few minutes later.

Renegades employees took shelter in their offices early yesterday afternoon as a storm battered the ballpark for about 10 minutes, knocking down a portion of the outfield wall, tearing down much of the stadium signage, overturning equipment on the concourse and toppling trees in the parking lot. No determination has been made if a tornado passed by the ballpark, but at the very least Gliner said “it was probably the strongest thunderstorm to ever come through here.”

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