After a mildly decent hiatus, welcome back into the first blog of the offseason! It’s been quite a while since the last blog (ok, probably a pretty good while since we were in Portland or had just gotten back from Portland the last time I wrote). So what has been going on in Curve, Pa. since the season ended you ask?
Firstly, we had a great time hosting the Pirates Playoff Watch Party here at the ballpark for Game 1 of the NLDS. While the result wasn’t what we all hoped for, it was an awesome way to spend a beautiful early October night at the ballpark watching the Buccos play some playoff baseball. Some of our staff had the pleasure of heading over to Pittsburgh for a few of the NLDS games vs. St. Louis and if you caught our facebook post, the banner that everyone signed here during the watch party made its way on to the rotunda at PNC!
Unfortunately, the Bucs weren’t able to advance and get by St. Louis but it was an incredible ride nonetheless and we’re excited to see what they have in store for us next season with what we’re sure will include more former Curve players. Speaking of players, a total of 10 former Curve players went on to make their MLB debuts this season (nine of them with Pittsburgh), to bring the grand total of former Curve players in The Show to 111.
This year’s 10 were… () – Years w/Curve
Vic Black (2012)
Gerrit Cole (2012)
Brandon Cumpton (2012-13)
Phil Irwin (2011-12)
Kris Johnson (2012)
Andrew Lambo (2010-13)
Stolmy Pimentel (2013)
Tony Sanchez (2011-13)
Duke Welker (2011-12)
and last but not least, Robbie Grossman (2012), who debuted with Houston. And speaking of players…..
Winter Leagues Get Going
A good portion of 2013 Curve players have started or will shortly be getting their winter seasons underway! Yes, after a break and some time to unwind after the 2013 Curve season ended, a good amount of Curve players from this past season have already begun to play ball again in places across the globe. The Arizona Fall League, which is the most prestigious of the winter leagues, began play on October 8 and all but one of the Pirates players involved that were selected to go have played at least one game in a Curve uniform.
Heading out to the AFL were: Alex Dickerson, Alen Hanson, Phil Irwin, Gift Ngoepe, Jameson Taillon, Zack Thornton and Tyler Waldron. Joining them in Arizona (all are playing for the Scottsdale Scorpions) is pitcher Matt Benedict, who is someone that could see Curve, Pa. in 2014 after spending all of 2013 in Bradenton.
Playing in the Venezuelan Winter League currently are RHP David Bromberg and LHP Jhonathan Ramos while catcher Ali Solis is playing in the Mexican League.
Stats of all the active Pirates’ players participating in Winter Leagues can be found here:
There have been a few staff changes here in Curve, Pa. since the end of the 2013 season as two long-standing Curve, Pa-ers have moved on to new things. Longtime Community Relations Director Elsie Gibney has stepped away from baseball after having her first child near the end of this season. Elsie spent 13 seasons with the Curve starting in 2001 and took the community efforts of the Curve to new heights during her tenure here.
Also stepping away from baseball is John Foreman, who made the in-game entertainment inside Peoples Natural Gas Field what it was as the Director of Creative Services. John was also a double-digit staff member, having spent a total of 10 seasons with the club. His tireless work effort afforded our fans here an opportunity to get a Major League experience here in Curve, Pa. and he will also be missed.
Stepping into some of those shoes will be interns Courtney Simpson and Emily Erickson, who have both been added to the full time staff here at the ballpark. Courtney stays on as the Community Relations Manager while Emily will be the Special Events Manager and All-Star Game Coordinator.
Lastly, Steffan Langguth, who has been with the club for a few seasons now, has been promoted to Box Office Manager and I have been given the title of AGM – Communications.
Upcoming Community Appearances
Thursday Oct. 24 – A mascot will take part in the PSU Altoona Homecoming Parade which begins @ 6 p.m.
Saturday Oct. 26 – The Altoona Curve Staff will join the 77th Annual Hollidaysburg Halloween Parade which will begin @ 6 p.m.
And with that, I think the first blog of the offseason has come to a close.
Until next time…