Home Community Renegades, Bhutan Baseball & Softball Association to present Bhutan Night

Renegades, Bhutan Baseball & Softball Association to present Bhutan Night

Renegades, Bhutan Baseball & Softball Association to present Bhutan Night

WAPPINGERS FALLS: The Hudson Valley Renegades, the New York Yankees’ High-A affiliate, and the Bhutan Baseball & Softball Association are thrilled to share the details of a first-ever Minor League Baseball event: they’ve teamed up to create Bhutan Night, a cultural program designed to promote baseball in the Kingdom of Bhutan.

As part of a multi-day tour that includes baseball, sightseeing, and cultural enrichment in New York, athletes from Bhutan will be treated to a VIP experience for the team’s game on Tuesday, August 20, 2024, versus the Wilmington Blue Rocks. This event is made possible in collaboration with Dutchess Tourism.

Our initial thought upon discovering baseball in Bhutan this summer was, “How can the Renegades be involved in this?” stated Zach Betkowski, the Renegades’ general manager. The event took off after we had our initial chat with Matt DeSantis from the Bhutan Baseball & Softball Association, who made it obvious that this had the makings of something really remarkable.

Having this incredible chance for young Bhutanese to play baseball in the very valleys where I initially fell in love with the game is a poignant experience, especially because baseball has been played in Bhutan for over ten years. According to Matthew DeSantis, a Fairfield County, Connecticut native who brought baseball to Bhutan and who presently serves as chair of the Bhutan Baseball & Softball Association, “we hope it inspires them to continue their journey in the sport.” We appreciate the Renegades’ dedication to developing baseball and giving children from nearby communities the chance to experience the professionalism of the game both on and off the field.

In August of last year, Michael Clair of MLB.com published a widely shared piece highlighting how baseball, which is played by over 6,000 kids in a country of over 700,000, has become the fastest-growing sport in Bhutan. Though most children have only ever watched highlight reels of Major League Baseball games to learn the sport, the Bhutan Baseball & Softball Association has set up young leagues around the nation to promote the game at the grassroots level.

The Bhutanese players will take part in a baseball clinic at Heritage Financial Park and a Business of Baseball panel as part of their multi-day trip to the United States. These events will highlight career options in sports other than athletics. Before their VIP experience at a Renegades game, they will also take part in a sightseeing tour of Dutchess County, which is arranged by Dutchess Tourism. During this tour, they will have the opportunity to see batting practice on the field, throw out a ceremonial first pitch, and more.

The President of the Bhutan Baseball & Softball Association, Karma Dorji, stated that international baseball collaborations strengthen associations in underdeveloped nations and bring people together via the game.

The Renegades will be wearing unique jerseys with a Bhutanese theme throughout the game, which will be put up for auction to help pay for the trip. The Druk, or Thunder Dragon, is a national symbol of Bhutan and is seen prominently on the country’s flag. The jerseys also primarily reflect the national colors of Bhutan, which are orange and yellow.

According to Betkowski, we wanted to make sure that the shirt honoringly represented Bhutan’s national identity. We are really pleased with how they turned out, as they look completely different from anything that has ever been worn on a Minor League Baseball field.

The sportsmen will visit Major League Baseball’s offices and take a sightseeing tour of New York City following their excursion to the Hudson Valley, and then they will head back home.

To assist generate money for the trip and Bhutan Baseball & Softball, the Renegades will be holding auctions throughout 2024 with unique things and experiences in addition to the jerseys. The first auction items, which include autographed artifacts from Everson Pereira and Anthony Volpe, are up for sale.

Additionally, a special Bhutan Baseball T-Shirt will be given away to 1,000 spectators on the evening of T-Shirt Tuesday, which is sponsored by Heritage Financial Credit Union.


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