Sock Puppets announce staff changes

Club makes three internal promotions, one new hire as it prepares for 2023

BURLINGTON, N.C. -- The Burlington Sock Puppets have a few familiar faces getting much-deserved promotions, and have made one new hire to the Front Office Staff. The 2022 Appalachian League Organization of the Year announced today that the once full-time staff count of two (in 2021) is now jumping to five heading into the third year of operation. Sam Santos, Zach Kunar and Jackson Webb all received promotions, and Matthew Hydock has been externally hired.

Sam Santos, one of the three promotions, is a 2022 Elon University graduate and has been a part of the Sock Puppets organization since its inception, in 2021. During her first year, as a Sales Academy intern, Santos grew the brand both in Caswell and on Elon's campus and community. She was promoted to full-time while still in college, and worked as the Director of Tickets in 2022 where she oversaw record highs in Season Membership. Entering the 2023 season, Sam's new role will be that as Director of Sockville where she will oversee the day-to-day operation of the ballpark and staff.

Zach Kunar, another internal promotion, is a 2022 Liberty University graduate and Graham, N.C. native. Kunar worked as a summer intern for the Sock Puppets in 2021, focusing on the food & beverage operation. In 2022 he was a member of the Sales Academy, while also overseeing the in-game entertainment during games. Entering the 2023 season, Zach will step into the position of Promotions & Experience Manager where he will continue to oversee the unique entertainment atmosphere at the ballpark while simultaneously growing and bringing the Sock Puppets brand throughout the community.

Jackson Webb, the third of the internal promotions, is currently finishing up his senior year at Elon University. Webb, like Kunar and Santos, was a third member of the inaugural Sock Puppets internship class in 2021. Spending the past two seasons as an intern, Jackson's focus was on the operation of the stadium: maintaining food & beverage efficiency and affordability, setting up the ballpark to host non-baseball-related events, among the many objectives. Entering the 2023 season, Jackson is being promoted to Stadium Operation Manager where he will continue overseeing the operation of the ballpark.

"To have a community and a culture, where three college kids, who have started their career in sports here, make the decision to stay and continue to grow with the Sock Puppets is simply incredible," General Manager Anderson Rathbun said on the three promotions. "Sam, Zach and Jackson have been key players in getting us to where we are today, and all share the passion of creating something special and unique here in Burlington and Alamance County."

Matthew Hydock, last but certainly not least of the staff changes, is joining the club as its new Director of Ticket Sales. A native of Winfield, W.V., Hydock is a two-time graduate (receiving his MBA in 2020) of Coastal Carolina. During that time, he worked in the athletic ticketing office where he saw the Chanticleers win the College World Series as well as the transition from FCS to FBS level. After graduation, he worked for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, where he fell in love with small-market baseball.

"Matthew understands what sports are meant to be and wants to find more and more ways to utilize sports and the Sock Puppets players/brand to impact the community," Rathbun said on the team's new hire. "He embraces the 'sockingly different' mantra and is going to be a huge key to us welcoming new fans to Burlington Athletic Stadium for years to come."

Stay updated on the Burlington Sock Puppets as the 2023 season approaches by following them on all socials (@GoSockPuppets) and by their website For information on Season Memberships, Sponsorships, Group & Hospitality events, and more call us at (336) 222-0223 or email us at

Thank you, Thomas Vickers

Thomas Vickers, who along with Rathbun, was brought to North Carolina by Ryan Keur when he took over ownership of the team in 2020. Vickers was the Assistant General Manager until October 2022, when he and his wife Kristen moved to Charlotte, N.C. During his time here, he ushered in the new era of Sock Puppets baseball, showcased Burlington Athletic Stadium as more than just a baseball field and grew the brand to all 50 states and multiple different countries. From everyone here at Sockville, we wanted to say thank you to Thomas for his impact on this organization, the staff and our community