Exactly four weeks from tomorrow we’ll be a month away from Opening Day…err. Night on April 3 when we take on Erie! The field is still covered in snow but we know mother nature is on our side to help it melt before we get into April.
What’s been going on here at the ballpark? Well, lots actually. Firstly..single-game tickets are now on sale for all 2014 regular season games. You can grab seats online (altoonacurve.com), over the phone (877.99.CURVE) or in person here M-F, 9-5. We’ve got a lot of cool stuff on the promo cal (released last week) like the celebrity appearances. Speaking of celebrity appearances….
Gus Fring to visit Curve, Pa.
We were pretty pumped to announce on Monday that Giancarlo Esposito, aka Gus Fring from AMC’s Breaking Bad, will be visiting the ballpark on June 26 thanks to Atlantic Broadband. Esposito also currently stars in NBC’s “Revolution” as Tom Neville, which has a new episode tonight (8e/7c), and had a role in ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” as the Mirror Mirror on the Wall and Sidney Glass.
It was received very positively and we always do appreciate the positive feedback, like this comment below from Twitter.
Speaking of Twitter….
The Oscars Live-Tweet…Revisited
Some of you might or might not follow us on Twitter (@AltoonaCurve) but those that do were treated to an impromptu live-tweet of Sunday night’s Oscars from the Curve account. We hope those that do follow enjoyed the creativity and fun-nature of the tweets that basically tied in winning or nominated films with some things Curve-related. For those that missed it or don’t have a Twitter..here’s some of the highlights from Sunday night:
And the last tweet from the night….
Maybe we’ll do another one at a random moment throughout the year so follow along!
#WayBackWednesday – The Ghostman Games Explained…Nintendo Style
We’ve been working on this for awhile, hope you enjoy it and figured why not release it on a Wednesday since it is using graphics from the Way Way Back…Nintendo.
We realize that the Ghostman Games might be a little confusing but when you boil it down, it’s a home run derby that uses multipliers (in this case Ghostmen) to help increase scores. However..we hope that this video helps illustrate it a bit better….or at least takes you back to a time when you used to play Super Mario Bros., Baseball Stars and Top Gun on the NES (does anyone remember how hard it was to land a plane on the aircraft carrier on that game…virtually impossible.) We digress, here’s the Ghostman Games video.
The Land of A Warmer Sun
We’ll wrap this edition of the blog with a look at some of the former Curve players of recent years that have been getting some (and making the most of) some time in big league Spring Training games so far for the Pirates. The Bucs have had a pretty good Spring thus far as they are 5-1 entering play today. Here’s a quick rundown of how some recent former Curve have done:
.333 (5-for-15) , 2 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 SB
Everyone by now knows his name (he’s Baseball America’s #1 Pirates’Prospect) and he’s gotten to see some action in all six games the Bucs have played thus far.
Years with Curve | 2013
.333 (3-for-9), 3 R, BB, 2 SB
Hanson, who checks in as the #6 BA Pirates’ prospect going into 2014, had a cup of coffee with the Curve in 2013 and will most likely begin this season in a Curve uniform.
Years with Curve | 2013
.000 (0-for-2), K
Folks might not know but yes indeed, Quincy Latimore, who spent time in Altoona in 2011 and 2012 is back with the Pirates organization. He’s come full circle after being traded in the offseason leading into 2013 for Jeanmar Gomez straight up. Latimore began 2013 with the then Akron Aeros before being released and eventually ended up with the Washington Wild Things before the Pirates picked him back up earlier this year.
Years with Curve | 2011-12
Mel Rojas, Jr.
.500 (2-for-4), HR, 3 RBI
Mel belted a three-run homer that might not have landed yet back on February 27 and finished that game 2-for-2. It will be interesting to see where Rojas is to start the season after having a very solid season in 2013 (especially if you look at his stats after mid-May through the end of the year).
Years with Curve | 2013
0-0, 0.00 (1G), 2.0 IP, 1 BB, 3 K
Sadler was superb for the Curve all season long last year and was right up there with Jameson Taillon in terms of dependability on the mound. He was 11-7 and had a 3.31 ERA and was named an Eastern League All-Star in 2013 before a comebacker off the inside of his knee at the end of June forced him to miss a month. Sadler got the bump to Triple-A at the end of the season last year and we’d guess that he’d start there this year depending on how other pieces in the organization fall.
Years with Curve | 2013
0-0, 6.75 ERA (2 G), 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 HR, 0 BB, 2 K
Thornton pitched at three different levels in 2013 between High-A Bradenton and Triple-A Indy and then finished his season up in the Arizona Fall League (0-0, 3.07 ERA in 11 games, 14 K, 14.2 IP). Thornton is and was a strikeout pitcher and could start the year in Indy depending on how his Spring goes.
Years with the Curve | 2013
That’s just a brief look and that’ll end this week’s blog.
Until next week,
As we blog on this the last day of February, the temperature outside is in the single digits and the field is still covered in snow but we move on towards Opening Day which will be here in just about a month!
If you have missed some of the news of the past week, you missed a lot! We announced most of our 2014 Giveaways and Celebrity Appearances this week and we’re pretty excited with the lineup that we have laid out for 2014. So far, your response has been pretty positive, which is awesome and we hope you’re as excited as we are for some of the cool stuff we’ve got going on.
An infographic with all the big news from this week can be found here:
The first opportunity to purchase individual tickets for the 2014 season will be tomorrow at Baseball Bash presented by Forever Broadcasting from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. here at the ballpark. We’ll have a bounce house for the kids to jump in, mascots to say hi to and those that come to bash can even try out our new Plinko-style board game! The first 250 individual ticket buyers tomorrow will get a free gift of Curve earmuffs with their purchase thanks to Ravine Uniforms and if you chose to complete the self-guided Ballpark Scavenger Hunt, you could be eligible to win a suite rental for one regular-season Curve game in 2014 (excluding the All-Star Game, Opening Night and the Fourth of July).
Speaking of earmuffs, we’ve had to watch when we talk about them around the staff. They tend to get a bit jumpy and are easily confused sometimes….
We Were on TV! (Mike Wazowski Voice)!
The Altoona Curve made two different appearances on national television this week for the most random of reasons. Our first stint on the national stage was courtesy of the MLB Network on Tuesday during their morning show. Remember 2011 & 2012 Curve IF Brock Holt. Well during the 2012 season we had a pretty epic set of baseball cards with some pretty awesome poses, Brock’s being one of them, and somehow MLB Network got a hold of that card and found it to be just as hilarious as you or I would have.
A video of the card breakdown can be found on our instagram page, here:
The second appearance came last night during the nationally televised Penn State-Ohio State Men’s Basketball game up at the BJC in State College. Earlier in the week Penn State reached out and asked if we could help them make some “big heads” of our mascots for their student section for the game. We were happy to oblige and figured that Steamer and Al Tuna would be the best options for the crew.
So we went to work on constructing the heads as you can see below. It does help that we have a 3′ Canon Image Prograph printer in our offices thanks to McCartney’s. Basically, each head was either 4′ wide (in the case of Tuna) or 4′ tall in the case of Steamer.
Now, for a minor plug…many might wonder where this “big head” behind the basket trend started…well…it was at my alma matter..San Diego State, who was earlier ranked in the Top-5 this season and still resides in the Top-15, with a student section called “The Show”. Don’t believe me? Check out this Sports Illustrated article about it:
Back to our mascot heads…we used to pieces of 30×40 foam board, fastened them together with some wood shims on the back, and made two solid big heads for the students.
They made their debut last night right around 7:45 during the first half of the game (a game that Penn State would go on to win).
Here’s some of twitter love they received:
And it was one of our staffers who caught a glimpse of Steamer behind the basket..
With that, we’ll end this week’s blog post. As I was writing this, we got some exciting news about one of our appearances that just confirmed. We’ll announce it on Monday and we think you’ll love it.
See you tomorrow at Bash
To say it’s been awhile since we reported in on the blog would be an understatement. In looking back on the last post before this one we find ourselves in sunny Orlando, Florida. Man…I remember that day like it was yesterday. 83 degrees, 60ish degrees at 5 a.m. the morning that we left. A far cry from the extremely cold temps we’ve had here in Curve, Pa. throughout the winter.
But..enough about the weather. I’m sure you’ve all been wondering what the heck we’ve been doing here for last few months. So here goes with the recap.
Late December: After we returned from the Winter Meetings and PirateFest, we spent about a week in the office before we took a break for the latter half of December and into the New Year. We brought a lot of interesting things back from the Winter Meetings and one of those, which we alluded to on here, was an app that fans would use as an interactive tool while at the ballpark that acts similarly to MLB’s At the Ballpark App for those that have used it. Things on the app front are moving forward as we speak.
January: Once you hit that first day of the New Year you really know that Opening Day will be here in a jiffy. We’ve been plugging away at populating our 2014 Promotional Calendar, which we should be releasing come late February in preparation for our annual Baseball Bash, which will be March 1 of this year. As a sliver of secret info, there’s some good stuff in this year’s batch of Promos including some celeb appearances, solid giveaways highlighting former Curve (now Pirates) stars and of course a plethora of fireworks options.
Something that is really really neat that we’ve got lined up for 2014 is called Tagboard. Used by a variety of MLB and college athletics teams, Tagboard is going to help us integrate all the social interaction from you the fans on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram, etc. into some really awesome content that we can display on our website and also on our video board during games. We’ll leave it at that for now but suffice it to say, we’re pumped.
While it has been cold around the area, that hasn’t stopped us from reworking some areas around the ballpark as you’ll see below.
We’ve partially replaced and are still in the process of replacing carpet in the Press Box and Suite areas of the ballpark.
Painting has also been a big part of the offseason projects of our Facilities Operator Doug Mattern, who has painted a ton of areas around the ballpark including the home clubhouse and our main indoor batting cages just to name a few.
There are some other changes in store for the outer portion of the ballpark as well but we’ll leave that for another time.
National Anthem Tryouts Nearing a Close
We’ve had a great time during our first two National Anthem Tryout Tour stops in Altoona (Feb. 1) and our first-ever trip down to the Country Club Mall in LaVale, Md. last Saturday. We’ve had a total of about 113 people try out between the two stops and are looking forward to our final stop this coming Saturday at the Johnstown Galleria in Johnstown from 9 a.m. to noon.
Helping us judge throughout the three-hour stint will be WJAC’s Melanie Gillespie (@MelanieWJAC) and Kerri Corrado (@Kerri_WJAC), Rocky 104.9′s Dave Troxell (The X-man), Johnstown Tomahawks (@johnstowntomahawks) president Rick Bouchard and Mix 94.7′s Adam Erikson (@AdamErikson).
For highlights from each of the past two stops, check out the vids below:
LaVale/Cumberland, Md. Stop
I think that’s going to do it for this post. We’ll check in more frequently now that Spring Training is basically here and we’ve got baseball in just a few months! Oh, and as a little heads up….watch our Facebook and Twitter accounts tomorrow (Wed, Feb. 12) for your chance to win a Gerrit Cole Autographed baseball. We gotta celebrate the official start of Spring Training right?
BUSINESS WRAPS UP WITH EL, ALL-STAR HOST MEETINGS
by Rob Egan
(Lake Buena Vista, FL) – In addition to being the final day the trade show floor is open, Wednesdays at the Baseball Winter Meetings are annually centered around the Eastern League meeting.
The gathering of executives from the twelve Eastern League franchises covers issues related to league rules, awarding of future All-Star Games, presentations from mutual vendors, and updates from Minor League Baseball executives. On that front, there wasn’t a lot of news to report. However, it was a chance for us to update the rest of the league on our plans for the EL All-Star Stop.
While I was the mouthpiece of our presentation, much of the credit for what we’ve put together at this point belongs to our front office staff. All-Star Game coordinator Emily Erickson and I have held weekly meetings with several other department directors to put together what we’re going to do July 15-16. More than just the events that fans will see on those days, the staff has to make sure all of the logistical details are covered like transportation, housing, special ticket and merchandise ordering, and more.
In that regard, a meeting that Assistant General Manager Matt Hoover and I attended right after the Eastern League gathering was very helpful. All of the hosts for the 2014 Minor League All-Star Games were invited to exchange presentations and ask questions of each other. This idea sharing session allowed us to realize a couple of important things. First, we are off to a very good start in our planning, comparatively. Secondly, there are many things that will pop up that we will need to be ready for internally.
There is plenty that goes into putting together an event of this magnitude. While it’s daunting, we enjoy such challenges because our staff has a passion for it. We can’t wait to see it all come to life and we hope you will join us. Tickets are on sale now! Sorry, couldn’t resist.
WE PICKED THE RIGHT WEEK
The last time the Winter Meetings were held in Orlando, the temperature didn’t get out of the 40s for much of the week. While I know that sounds good in Central Pennsylvania right about now, it wasn’t what was anticipated in Florida. This go around, the mercury has been in the 80s all week. I say this not to gloat because I’ll be returning the deep freeze later today.
CONGRATS AND HELLO, OLD FRIENDS
Well, not that they are old…just long-time friends. This week, three people that I had the work with in the past were recognized for accomplishments. Charleston RiverDogs’ VP/GM Dave Echols won the South Atlantic League Executive of Year Award. Dave and I worked together in 1998 and, other than his allegiance to The Ohio State University, I have a lot of respect for him. Former Curve General Manager Todd “Parney” Parnell was named Executive of the Year in the Eastern League for the second time in his career. He last won it in 2008 while guiding the Altoona franchise. Speaking of Curve alums making it happen. My former broadcast partner, Jason Dambach, who is now the SVP/GM of the State College Spikes saw his club honored as the Bob Freitas Award winner for franchise excellence at the Class Short-Season A level. Congratulations to all. Well done, boys.
That’s it for the Winter Meetings column for this year. Hope you enjoyed. Look forward to seeing you soon in Curve, PA!
As promised from yesterday’s blog we’ve got AGM – Marketing/Promotions Matt Hoover with us in the video above to chat a little bit about the Winter Meetings Trade Show. Looking for a unique giveaway item, a giant inflatable jersey, a pitching machine, Minor League Baseball Passport Books, batting gloves, padding for your outfield wall? They’ve got it all at the Baseball Trade Show and that is where Hoover goes to work during the Meetings to find the giveaway items that you might see at the ballpark come 2014 or beyond.
Overall, Day 2 at the Meetings was actually less filled with meetings than Day 1 but we still had a few more Freitas seminars to take in throughout the day. My favorite part of the “work day”, if you can even call it that down here, was our meeting with Brandiose to learn about the improvements to the Boomaphone app that are scheduled to roll out in time for the 2014 season. As Rob writes in his article, which can be viewed by clicking here, the things they have planned for the new app seem pretty cool and would be a great way to add to a fan’s game experience in Curve, Pa. as well as help them shape the type of experience they see on the field as the game unfolds to truly make each and every game more unique than they already are.
What is pretty neat about the Winter Meetings is how surreal the experience is in general. Walking from place to place and seeing the different people that are involved in the game of baseball. Whether you’re out for a morning jog around the Board Walk, below, or you are on a tram back from the Magic Kingdom, you run into the best of the best in the MLB industry.
It’s about a 5 minute walk to go between the Swan hotel (where the MiLB staff stay) and the Dolphin (where MLB staff stays) but its a nice beautiful walk before getting inside and heading up an escalator to where some of the main breaking trade/hot stove talk, takes place with both MLB Network and ESPN having sets set up. In the photo below you have the MLB Network desk on the left and the ESPN desk on the right, separated only by a beautifully constructed Christmas tree that’s made out of Poinsettias!
We’ll get some more video of the “lay of the land” in tomorrow’s final WM blog.
As for the rest of the night on Tuesday, Hoover and I decided to take a trip to the Magic Kingdom since we were in Disney and Tuesday was the only night there was no scheduled appearance at a dinner, etc. Disney during the holidays is just fantastic and we actually were able to hit all the big spots: Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, the Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor, etc. and wait no longer than 10 minutes as the park was open extra late with a special Christmas program. We boarded the shuttle back to call it a night at Disney and who did we sit next to on our way back? Brian Kenny from MLB Network. Just goes to show, everyone wanted to sneak visit into the Magic Kingdom.
WHAT’S GOING ON IN CURVE, PA? THERE MAY BE AN APP FOR THAT
by Rob Egan
Lake Buena Vista, Fla. – For all the meetings we attend and trade show booths we visit, the Altoona Curve contingent always has the clear objective of improving. We’re constantly learning about and looking for items, services, and programs that will make us better. Better for our fans, players, sponsors, staff, and community.
In the first two days, we have had meetings and events that have addressed how we market our industry as a whole, highlighted teams and executives that have excelled, and made us aware of how our seasonal interns can be better prepared to become full-time executives. All of those items are important and can make us better as an organization – but are they really interesting the fans? Honestly, no.
A new service that will likely be very interesting is a brand new mobile app that the Curve learned about Tuesday. Brandiose, who helped design and implement our current brand and logos, has developed an app that could greatly enhance a fan’s experience with the Curve. The app, which would be free to download, will be available on all iPhone and Android devices. It will allow fans to do the basics that many sports apps already do: buy tickets, look up player information, connect to the radio broadcasts, and more.
What makes the “Boomaphone” app truly unique is that fans will be able to participate in real-time and be part of the “show” while attending Curve games. Those in attendance can sign up for in-game contests, vote for who will win the Panera Bagel Race, post their social media photos for other fans to see, and qualify for coupons and prizes. The app’s feed will stay real-time throughout the game to let you know what’s coming up next.
Another cool feature is the interactive ballpark map. By tapping a particular area on the map, you could locate where your favorite beverage or concession item is available. The map can also direct you to the Laurel Eye Clinic Customer Service Center, the Rocky Gap Casino Resort Entertainment Deck, and other points of interest in Curve, PA.
We are excited about this new app and look forward to adding it to our experience.
“GHOST MAN GAMES” GENERATING BUZZ
Last week, the Curve announced the addition of a unique twist to the standard All-Star Game home run derby. This week, “The Curve, PA Ghost Man Games and Hitting Challenge” has industry executives talking positively about our latest innovation. Our friends from other clubs were made aware of the event through websites like milb.com and ballparkdigest.com which gave the concept positive reviews.
FEEL-GOODS FOR GOOD GUYS
Former Curve pitching coach and current Tigers’ scout Bruce Tanner celebrated his birthday working the lobbies at the Winter Meetings yesterday. Tanner, who pitched in the Major Leagues, is one of my favorite people in the game. He inherited his father’s perpetually positive nature and sense of humor. Saavy Curve fans can spot him a couple of times each season scouting the talent in the Eastern League from a seat behind home plate. Always great to see him. Happy birthday, Bruce!
Another well-known good guy in the game was seen in the media room on Tuesday. Outfielder Curtis Granderson, whom Curve fans saw a lot of in 2004 while he played for the Erie SeaWolves, had his recent agreement with the New York Mets officially announced. I’ll never forget how gracious he was when I interviewed him at Uht Park for a pre-game show that summer. Two years later, he was playing in the World Series with the Tigers. In addition to his graciousness and humility, Granderson has routinely given of his time and treasure to less fortunate in Detroit, New York, and his hometown of Chicago. He’s an easy guy to root for no matter which team he’s playing for and I’m glad to see fame hasn’t affected him in a negative way.
Until tomorrow…so long from the land of the famous mice!
It’s been a whirlwind few couple of days getting down here to Orlando and taking in all that was the first day of the Winter Meetings. I’ll recap some of it here or you can watch the fancy video above we’ll do better with the lighting tomorrow, our bad…).
As Rob pointed out in his article today in the Altoona Mirror and what was posted here a bit earlier today, we had some travel fun getting down to the Magic Kingdom on Sunday. Originally scheduled to leave out of State College on Sunday night we were alerted that our flight was cancelled early Saturday night and were forced to hop on a different flight that left nearly 12 hours earlier.
After a 5 a.m. arrival at PNG Field, Rob, David, Hoover and myself hopped in the van and drove to fly out of Pittsburgh where we hit a bit of a travel snag. A pair of us had seats on the flight….and a pair of us did not as something was lost in code translation when getting our flights changed. Thus, the Amazing Race to get to Orlando was born.
Rob and David (Team #1) were on the original flight out of Pittsburgh connecting through Charlotte and then on to Orlando. Hoover and I (Team #2) were now on a flight out of Pittsburgh that left nearly 1.5 hours later but landed in Orlando nearly 30 minutes earlier. Can’t you see Phil from the Amazing Race narrating this with a cool map graphic?
One thing about the Winter Meetings is that you’ll see stars from all the different worlds of baseball here: players, former players, managers, tv analysts, etc. Ours started early as since Hoover and I had to take a different flight we come to our gate only to find the recently retired skipper Jim Leyland waiting to board our flight.
Upon arrival, we were picked up by the good folks at Brandiose (the dynamic duo behind the new Curve logos from 2011) and they had a big nice bus (see above) waiting to pick us up and take us to the Swan & Dolphin Hotel, which is where we post up.
Day 1 – Meetings, Meetings and Meetings
Just like they sound, Day 1 was full of meetings as the staffs of minor league baseball get together and figure out ways that we can improve various things from the fan experiences at the ballpark to the fan experiences with things like our website. My day started off with a session about some of the new things that will be coming to AltoonaCurve.com in 2014,
From there it was on to a meeting about Viral Videos…we had our own viral vid from 2013. Remember this gem? It’s up to over 81,000 views on YouTube and it even got coverage across the pond in England!
Morning meetings concluded before the official opening ceremonies and then an awards luncheon which are highlighted in the video above. The afternoon meetings consisted of a talk from former Curve broadcaster and current Richmond Flying Squirrels announcer Jon Laaser before another website presentation that followed.
It was a quick 15 minute breather before jetting over to the Pirates affiliate reception which you can read about in detail from Rob here, that was attended by everyone you’d expect like Neal Huntington, Frank Coonelly and Clint Hurdle. Coolest food item at the reception? This Turkey on top of cornbread! Delicious!
That was the capper from Day 1. We’ll recap today’s events come tomorrow.
I also have not been able to locate a Winter Meetings Breakfast with the Disney Characters spot yet but I’m going to keep looking.
Also, big thanks to our Director of Creative Services Mark Milligan for that catchy introduction to the video.
The first of what will be a nice series of blogs coming to you live from 80-degree Winter Meetings in the beautiful Swan and Dolphin hotels inside Walt Disney World. First up for the Day 1 blog will be our GM Rob Egan breaking down last night’s Pirates’ affiliate dinner. I’ll be back a little later today with a video and more form Day 1 around the Winter Meetings.
Pirates’ Brass Happy But Not Satisfied at Affiliate Dinner
Lake Buena Vista, Fla. – Each December, the first full day of the Baseball Winter Meetings for the Altoona Curve is highlighted by a stop at the Pirates’ minor league affiliate reception. On the heels of Pittsburgh’s first winning season and playoff berth in 21 years, you’d expect the two-hour event to have a different vibe. It did, but not quite in the way I expected.
There was definitely a more-upbeat-than-usual feel, but still a sense of unfinished business for the Bucs. Happy with the accomplishments of 2013? Yes. Satisfied with where they are at this point? No.
While the Pirates’ executives including Frank Coonelly, Neal Huntington, and Kyle Stark were clearly pleased with the direction of the club, they aren’t celebrating. Huntington, who narrowly missed selection as Major League Baseball’s General Manager of the Year, continues to peruse both the trade and free agent markets to see if he can address the club’s needs. However, much like last summer, he’s not going to grossly overpay in either dollars or prospects just to make a deal. Huntington knows he’s got a really good core Major League roster, potential help in the high minors, and the ability to make under-the-radar steals like last year’s Francisco Liriano and Mark Melancon
Coonelly, who says other teams’ executives have raved about the electricity of the crowd at PNC Park for the Wild Card Game against Cincinnati, agrees but then quips that he wishes Pirates’ fans didn’t have to wait 21 years to get that excited. I think that’s a telling sentiment. Coonelly is glad for the accomplishment of reaching the playoffs, but clearly wants his club to remain focused on the goal of winning a championship.
A few years ago in this space after a similar affiliate reception, I remember writing that, despite what some fans and media may have thought, the resolve of Coonelly and Huntington to improve their club and win was palpable. After seeing the product of that determination and their mood on Monday night, I don’t doubt that it continues to be their mission with the goal of a championship as close as it’s been since 1992. Are there any doubters left about that?
WHO’S THE NEW GUY?
Curve Assistant General Manager of Communications Mike Passanisi has joined the club’s contingent at the Winter Meetings. After earning a promotion to Assistant GM in October, “Paso” is here at Disney’s Swan and Dolphin Resort and spent Monday participating in the Bob Freitas Business Seminar sessions, the affiliate reception, and Opening Night at the Baseball Trade Show. You can follow his experiences on Twitter under the @AltoonaCurve handle and through the CurveBall Blog on our website, altoonacurve.com.
PLANES, TRAINS, AND BUSES?
After weather in the Northeast canceled the Curve crew’s flights from State College and Washington, D.C., the team scrambled to get to Orlando ahead of the ice storm on Sunday. Two itinerary changes, an unexpected flight revision, and some temporarily missing luggage later, we all arrived in Florida by early that afternoon. Special thanks to airline agents, quick shuttle trains at the airports, and the luxury bus transportation from the Orlando airport to the hotel by our business partners at Brandiose. We’re nothing if not resilient!
More on the way tomorrow from the shadows of the Magic Kingdom.
Part Two of our blog series leading up to the Holiday Bazaar on Saturday is here and with it comes a full list of vendors who will be participating in this year’s Bazaar. The event, which is FREE to attend, runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Saturday over here at PNG Field.
As of today the following is a list of vendors scheduled to appear at this year’s Holiday Bazaar and what they’ll be selling. There are no more vendor spots available for this year’s Bazaar.
2013 Holiday Bazaar Vendor List
Tara Henry – Scentsy & lotions
Jeremy Garner – Sports Memorabilia
Vicki Pike – Lia Sophia Items
Sheran Springer – Crafts & Tupperware
Cassandra Schmick – Crocheted Scarves, Purses + more
Debbie Locke – Avon products + crafts
Bonnie Schuh – Magnetic Jewelry & Beads
Cathy Ford – Scentsy Items + Take Shape for Life
Brittany Gile – Premiere Jewelry and Bows
Debra Rea – Cookie Grams
Lisa Miller – Hand Painted Wooden Items, Tutus – Personalized
Terri Dillree – Wooden Clocks
Mary McCoy – Candy, Wreaths, cozies for kids
Sister Paula – Wedding Soup Sale
Altoona Railroaders Museum – Toys, Books & Glasses
Altoona Dance Theater – Nutcracker Tickets
Danielle & Jessica Seifer – Hand Knitted Items
Shannon Felix – Origami Owl – Tastefully Simple
Maryann Weimert – Spicy Mustard
Roberta Burns – Misc. Christmas Decor & knitted scarfs
Myla Faust – Baked Goods
Christy Richers – Christy’s Custom Candles
Heather Russell – Russell Art & Imagery – Jewelry
Bobbi McAllister – Advocare
Christina Billock – Country crafts & home decor
Anita Rowles – Naked Bee lotions, lip balm and soap
Chastity Kienzle – Gold Canyon Candles
Annette Noel – Uppercase Living (Crafts & personalized items)
Michele Beck – Origami Owl
Kathie Mulhullen – Candy, Fudge & Fleece
Craig Wesner – Carved Flowers, Baskets & Pottery
Deanna Adelsberger – Purses, Boots & Jackets
Annette Thompson – Avon products
Erin Carlin – Tupperware
Lindsay Gahagan – Baked Goods & Holiday Crafts for March of Dimes
Jordan Markel – It Works
Terri Kline – Tastefully Simple
Ashley Walters – Ashley’s Crafty Kitchen
Christine Schezzini – Poochey Chef (Dog Treats & items)
Ben Kinsinger – Glassware, Hunting & Fishing Tools
Brandi Hopkins – Handbags & Purses
Priscilla Hauer – Pampered Chef
Chad Boyer – The Boyer Agency
Cathy McKool – Handmade Blankets, Scarves, Magnets + more
Susi Jolley – Bedford County Wilderness Search Team
Stephanie Dorsey – Crafts
Mandy Price – Pink Zebra
Linda Strong – Yard Sale type items
Chris Eckenrod – Pampered Chef
Valley Gospel Church – Soup, Hot Dogs & Hot Chocolate
Elizabeth Thorell – Small Wood Crafts & Handmade Ornaments
Mike Hammer – Free Hot Dogs, Hot Chocolate (while supplies last)
Jenn Benn – Rag Wreaths
Charloette Kifer – Lia Sophia & Flower Arrangements/Crafts
Kristen Swan – Sabika Austrian Crystal Jewelry
Rachel Stoehr – Rubberband Bracelets
Ruth Kephart – Handmade Woodcrafts and Sewing
Sherry Jesberger – Books
April Cramer – Girls Scouts (Baked Goods & Crafts)
Brooke McChessney – Brooke’s Beautiful Creations
Krila Townsend – KrilArt
Jen Hertzon – Autsim Speaks
James Straitiff – Turkey Jerky, Smoked Turkey Breasts & Wings
Talihia Rankin – Primitive Items, Furniture, Seasonal
Kim Parker – Hair Clips & Headbands
Lori Showalter – Food & Baked Goods
Frankstown SC – Popcorn, Cookies, Games w/Prizes
Monica Miller – Crochet Necklaces
Jake Sullivan – Patio Pals & Doll Baby Beds
Amy Rothrauff – Holy Trinity Episcopal Church
Cinnamon Colony Chatman – It Works!
LaJune Rogers-Ransom – Stained Glass, Jewelry & more
Laura Walters – Beaded Bracelets
Donna High – Royal Beauty $5 Jewelry
Alicia Fisher – Country Woodcrafts
Ann Kimmel – Floral Arrangements, Earrings and more
James Gentile – Christmas Centerpieces
And if you’ve seen some of our other social media recently we also have an announcement about an All-Star Stop detail coming up later today. Here’s another sneak at what we’ll be announcing. Have fun guessing what it is!
After a short week in the office due to the unofficial best eating/feasting holiday there is, we’re back in the office and it’s a big week here in Curve, Pa. as we lead into our second annual Holiday Bazaar, which takes place this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. here at the ballpark. To help get you ready for the Bazaar on Saturday, we’ll be chatting it up here on the blog all week with various info of some of the things we’ll be putting on at the Bazaar.
We’re going to work out of order for the heck of it and start with some All-Star Stop talk.
For those that have not heard, we’re hosting the 2014 Eastern League All-Star Game, we’re calling it the All-Star Clash, July 15 and 16, 2014! We’ll talk more in detail about the events on Day 1 (July 15) later in the week but let’s take a trip down memory lane to see some of the former stars that have played in past Eastern League All-Star Games as the game as featured some of top talent in the league (and eventually MLB).
2012 Eastern League All-Star Game:
The game was played just down the turnpike in Reading, Pa. and was won by the Eastern Division, 5-4, on a walk -off single by Binghamton’s Eric Campbell to score Troy Hanzawa of Reading.
Notable MLB players that played in the game just two years ago:
Darin Ruf (Philadelphia) – Ruf was the Reading Phillies first baseman in 2012 and had a tremendous year for Reading, hitting 38 home runs and batting .317. He went on to make his MLB debut later that season and hit three homers with Philadelphia. In 2013, Ruf played in 73 games for the Phillies and went on to hit 14 home runs while driving in 30 runs.
2011 Eastern League All-Star Game:
This game was played at the home of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, and saw the West pummel the East, 8-3. The Curve were well represented in the 2011 game with future MLB’ers Starling Marte, Brock Holt and Jeff Locke all taking part in the game along with Aaron Pribanic (RHP). Holt was 1-for-2 in the game hit a two-run homer en route to being named the game’s MVP (the second straight year in which a Curve player took home the award).
Notable MLB players from the 2011 Game:
Starling Marte - Pirates left fielder and a former resident of Curve, Pa., Marte made a splash when he made his MLB debut in July of 2012, homering in his first at bat down in Houston’s Minute Maid Park. The former Curve centerfielder went on to have a solid first full season in the big leagues in 2013, hitting .280 with 26 doubles, 10 triples, 12 homers and 35 BI to go with 41 steals.
Jeff Locke – Locke, who was a native of nearby North Conway, N.H., had a stellar opening to his 2013 campaign with Pittsburgh that saw him garner N.L. All-Star accolades. The southpaw was 8-2 with a 2.15 ERA In 18 starts before the break and held opponents to a .202 batting average against.
Will Middlebrooks (Boston) – A third baseman with Portland in 2011, Middlebrooks hit .302 with 18 homers before being promoted to Pawtucket later in the season. He went on to make his MLB debut in 2012 with Boston, hitting .275 with 15 homers and 54 RBI. This past year, Middlebrooks blasted 17 home runs and drove in 49 runs in 94 games while playing at third for the World Series Champion Red Sox.
A total of 25 players from the two All-Star teams in 2011 have played in the major leagues.
Not only will the fans of Curve, Pa. and beyond get to see future stars of the big leagues on the field but they’ll also get to meet and greet the stars from both teams with the All-Star Experience, which is scheduled to take place before the game on Wednesday, July 16. Gates will open up extra early the day of the All-Star Clash and give fans the opportunity for an autograph and photo session with the Eastern League All-Star squads. Following the session, fans will then have the opportunity to watch both teams take batting practice before the Clash itself begins later in the evening.
The Holiday Season is Here!
Now that the calendar has swung to December the world has gone in to full-on holiday mode with the holiday season upon us. Here’s a few of the places we’ll be in the coming week with our mascots to help ring in the season. Also, as you can see from the photo above, we took a staff photo for our Holiday Card with the best sweaters that we could find. Some people didn’t get the memo and we had to do a little photoshopping but….we think it adds to the touch.
Curve Community Appearances This Week:
Thursday, December 5 - Altoona Curve mascot(s) will take part in the 8th annual Spirit of Christmas Parade in Altoona which begins at 6 p.m.
Friday Dec. 6 - An Altoona Curve mascot will be participating in the Tyrone Christmas Parade. The parade starts at 6:15 p.m.
We’ll be back tomorrow with more….