Man a lot has happened in the past week in Curve, Pa. as we inch closer and closer to the start of the 14th season of Curve baseball on April 5th at 6:30 p.m. vs. Erie. Our full promo schedule is out there, single-game tickets for all games this season are on sale and former Curve OF Starling Marte continues to absolutely rake down in Bradenton.
First off, thanks to all who came and hung out with us at Baseball Bash last night here at the ballpark. It was a little chilly after we had 60+ temperatures on Wednesday but it was a good time and we hope you enjoyed some of the different things we added to this year’s Bash. We had four different acts come and try out for a spot to perform at a Curve game as well as two season tix for the upcoming season and they were all fantastic! They were all so good in fact that we couldn’t pick just one winner to perform so they will all be coming back to the ballpark this summer to perform their respective acts. As for the winner of the season tickets and free Curve Burger + Pepsi at every game, that went to young Alivia Jacobs, who kicked off the competition with a riveting song number that won over the panel of Curve judges.
Steamer also got a hold of the camera during last night’s Bash and it’s a good thing that actual film wasn’t used as he took plenty of forgettable photos but he did capture some good moments from last night’s event.
In other news, how about Starling Marte this Spring? The former Curve outfielder at the time I’m writing this is 9-for-13 this spring with two homers and three RBI. He had hits in eight straight at bats, including those two home runs and is hitting a modest .692.
We’d also like to extend a congratulatory shout out to former Curve and current Buccos centerfielder Andrew McCutchen for reaching a deal that will keep him in Pittsburgh for the foreseeable future. The outfield in Pittsburgh in a few seasons could be a very exciting one to watch!
We’ll now take this opportunity to welcome in our yearly Spring Training correspondent Jim Lane of the Altoona Mirror for his first report from Bradenton. Jim had some time to compile some notes and tidbits from this past week’s games and he’ll be filing stories for AltoonaCurve.com as the action heats up down in Florida. We always welcome and appreciate Jim’s work so here’s what he’s got for us this week. We’ll try and keep regular updates either here or at AltoonaCurve.com
BRADENTON, Fla. – Several former Curve players were big contributors in a couple of the Pirates’ recent Grapefruit League wins over the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees.
Matt Hague went 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs in the win over the Orioles. Alex Presley was 3-for-3 with a triple and two runs scored while Starling Marte, last year’s Eastern League batting champion and Rookie of the Year, collected three hits and scored twice.
Ex-Altoona pitcher Justin Wilson struck out three batters while working two scoreless innings against the Birds.
Curve alums Chase d’Arnaud, Jordy Mercer and Josh Harrison all have been used in exhibition games. Harrison has played second, shortstop and third base, d’Arnaud has seen time at second and short while Mercer has been exclusively at short.
After signing a six-year, $51.5 million contract Tuesday morning, Andrew McCutchen responded with a double and single and two RBIs in a 7-2 win against the Yankees in the afternoon.
Marte had two more hits against the Yanks, extending his string to five straight in two games. Nate McLouth had a RBI single while Eric Fryer singled and Jordy Mercer doubled in the late innings.
Outfielder Robbie Grossman, the organization’s Minor League Player of the Year in 2011 after a big year with Class A Bradenton, is getting a good look, too. Grossman is expected to be in Altoona this season.
Catcher Tony Sanchez smacked a long home run off of Jared Hughes (both Curve alums) in a recent intra-squad game. Sanchez reportedly will return to Altoona for the start of the 2012 season.
We’ll take the final few seconds of the blog to say farewell to a couple of Curve front office staff members and welcome another as Mollie Shoemaker and Mike Pence have moved on to new roles outside of Altoona. We wish them the best of luck and enjoyed having them in Curve, Pa. over the years. With goodbyes also come hellos as our new Head Groundskeeper Ben Young has joined us for the upcoming season. Ben joins the Curve after spending time in Arizona last season working at the Chicago White Sox Spring Training Complex. Before that, Ben was with the Gateway Grizzlies in Illinois.
That’s it for now. Enjoy the rest of your weekend Curve fans and before you know it, we’ll be watching Curve games on the weekends!