Why it mattered
The 2006 Eastern League All-Star Game was the first of two that have been hosted by Altoona. The game was broadcast on Fox Sports Pittsburgh and sort of served as a three-hour tourism commercial for Blair County Ballpark. “The culmination of everything I ever dreamed of,” as Curve founder Bob Lozinak put it in his own words during an in-game interview. Curve broadcasters Jason Dambach and Paul Steigerwald (also of the Pittsburgh Penguins) were joined by Reading’s Steve Deglar on the telecast.
A then-record crowd of 9,308 fans packed into the ballpark that night to watch the South All-Stars, led by Altoona’s Brett Roneberg, defeat the North All-Stars by a 5-3 score. Roneberg was named the MVP. He collected a game-high three hits and three RBIs, inlcuding a two-run single to put the South in front for good during the sixth inning. Roneberg’s MVP nod was the second All-Star MVP award by a Curve player in franchise history.
Among the participants, 26 players went on to play at the Major League level. Participants included longtime MLB regulars Denard Span (11 seasons), Adam Lind (12 seasons), Matt Garza (12 seasons), Glen Perkins (12 seasons) and Jim Johnson (13 seasons). Current Pittsburgh Pirates assistant hitting coach Mike Rabelo represented Erie as the starting catcher for the South All-Stars. Seven-year big league vet Kevin Kouzmanoff was an all-star just months before his dramatic MLB debut with the Cleveland Indians when he hit a grand slam on the first pitch he faced in the big leagues.
12:35 – Brett Roneberg RBI single (South 1, North 0)
26:33 – North trades two outs for one run (North 1, South 1)
27:29 – Felix Molina RBI single (North 2, South 1)
29:40 – Gabe Lopez RBI double (North 3, South 1)
1:40:30 – Cory Keylor RBI single (North 3, South 2)
1:45:47 – Brett Roneberg two-run double (South 4, North 3)
2:06:50 – Curve founder Bob Lozinak interview
2:11:44 – Noah Hill RBI single (South 5, North 3)
2:12:56 – Ivan Maldonado, Gabe Lopez team up for sensational play for North
Other Historic Replays
2013 Curve-Pirates Exhibition Game
Altoona hosts Stephen Strasburg’s MiLB debut for Harrisburg
Altoona Curve capture 2017 Eastern League Championship
Curve start 2015 playoffs with seven-run comeback win
Independence Day 2019: Curve walk off Erie
This contribution to the Around the Curve Blog is presented by Microtel. Plan your stay at one of Altoona’s three Lion Country Lodging locations. Click here to make a reservation today.