We Just Couldn’t Wait For March…
In more ways than one we cannot wait for March to roll around because it means we’ll get to see many of your happy faces when the Pirates come to town to play the Curve on March 30 here at Peoples Natural Gas Field. We’re revving up over here with preparations and plans to make it quite a memorable day for those that make their way to Curve, Pa.
If you have been by our facebook page or checked out our twitter feed this week, you might have seen we also couldn’t wait for March to start filling out brackets so we made some of our own! That’s right we are one week in to our 15th season Bobblehead Bracket voting contest where you the fans are picking the winners of matchups to eventually determine who which player from the 1999-2003 era will end up on a bobblehead this season. The semifinals in the first bracket begin next Monday and will feature Curve fan favorite and overall #1 seed Adam Hyzdu taking on the #4 seed Jack Wilson. The other semifinal matchup has #3 seed Sean Burnett pitted against #7 seed Rob Mackowiak, who upset #2 seed Bronson Arroyo early last week.
Once we are down to our final two players, the finals will take place Wednesday, January 30 and Thursday, January 31 on facebook to determine the winner. The winner of this contest will be given away in bobblehead form on Saturday, June 8 to the 1,500 fans that stroll in to see the Curve take on the Binghamton Mets.
We will also be holding two other voting brackets a we approach the season to determine two other players to make into bobbles to be given away this season. The era breakdowns for those years will be 2004-2008 and then 2009-present. Be sure to watch our social media for when those contests launch.
Follow Us on Instagram and Pinterest
Speaking of social media, we’ve quietly been making our way on to some of the different social media platforms over the offseason months if you want to give us a follow.
Pinterest: Altoona Curve
We look forward to seeing all your photos and pins from your fun experiences at the ballpark all season long!
No Snow Down Under
While many in the upper northeast are experience snow bitter cold temps and snowfall, the boys down under in the Australian Baseball League are enjoying the summer months and also winding down their regular season. That’s right the ABL, which is 75% owned by MLB, has just a few days left in its regular season before playoff time. Fans might recognize both of the gentlemen in this photo courtesy of our old pal Tyler Maun as Quincy Latimore and Stefan Welch, who were both part of the 2012 Curve. The duo has been reunited in Adelaide playing for the Bite, one of the six teams in the league.
Latimore, who was recently dealt to Cleveland, is doing his second tour in Australia after spending the offseason between 2010 and 2011 playing in Adelaide. Welch, a native of Alice Springs, Australia, has played in the league since its inception in 2010 and will also represent his country in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.
What’s also mildly funny about this photo is that the number 22 that Welch is wearing is typically the number that Latimore has worn during his pro career, even earning himself the nickname “The Double Deuce” down in Bradenton during his time with the Marauders in 2011. Also interesting is the advertising on the backs of the jerseys, wonder if the MLB game will ever get to that point.
At the time of this post, Adelaide is on the outside looking in at a playoff berth, sitting two games back with two games left to play.
For more information on the ABL, you can visit theabl.com.
Other Offseason Happenings
In other offseason league news, 2011 Eastern League Rookie of the Year Starling Marte added another accolade and award to his shelf when he snatched up the Dominican Winter League Playoff MVP honors for his stellar performance in helping Escogido sweep Aguilas. In the best-of-nine series (yes so the sweep was a five-game sweep), Marte was 11-for-21 while hitting .422 in 11 total postseason games. This came on the heels of a .304 average in 29 regular-season games with Escogido.
Helping Marte from the pitching slab in the playoffs was 2012 Curve lefty Kris Johnson, who was the winning pitcher in the series-clinching game. Johnson spun six shutout frames to help Escogido to the victory. In 32.1 playoff innings, Johnson gave up just four earned runs (1.11 ERA).
That will about do it for this week’s blog post and round up. We’ll see if we can’t get one of our new staffers to take a stab at the blog next week for a change of pace.