As we prepare for our 20th Season Celebration in 2018, we are turning to the fans to decide the Fans’ Choice All-Time Altoona Curve Team. Fans will vote for one manager and a player at each position to pick the 11 representatives on the Fans’ Choice All-Time Altoona Curve Team. The voting will also go toward a yet-to-be-announced promotion for the upcoming season.
Fans can cast their votes by clicking here.
We broke down the candidates for the All-Time Team Manager, Catcher, First Baseman and Second Baseman already. Those posts can be found here. Now we will take a look at the finalists for the Fans’ Choice All-Time Team Third Baseman.
Stats: .281, 26 HR, 117 RBI (214 games in four seasons)
Kevin Haverbusch was the Curve’s first-ever third baseman, suiting up at the position for the season-opener in 1999. He went on to lead the team in doubles that year with 26 and was the Curve’s lone representative in the Double-A All-Star Game in Mobile, Ala. Haverbusch clubbed the first grand slam in Curve history on April 13, 1999 at Harrisburg.
Haverbusch spent time in Triple-A with Nashville in 2001 and 2002 and closed out his affiliated baseball career with Portland in 2003 before paying five years in the independent Atlantic League.
Stats: .258, 20 HR, 122 RBI (322 games in three seasons)
Rico Washington played parts of three seasons with the Curve, and ranks fourth in team history with 298 career hits, fourth with 322 games played and fifth with 158 runs scored. He led the team with a .302 batting average in 2001, 60 walks in 2002, and seven triples in 2000.
After a long run through the minors, Washington reached the big leagues for the first time in 2008 with the St. Louis Cardinals. He continued his playing career in the independent American Association until 2012.
Stats: .283, 23 HR, 90 RBI (117 games in one season)
Jose Bautista already had brief major league experience when he arrived in Altoona for the 2005 season, having played with Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Tampa Bay and Kansas City all in 2004. The 2005 Curve hit 141 homers, the most in a season in team history, and Bautista added 23 of them, which trailed Josh Bonifay that year but ranks fourth in a single season in team history. Bautista led the team with a .283 batting average, 90 RBIs and 27 doubles. His 90 RBIs trail only the 106 by Adam Hyzdu in 2000 for the most in a season in Curve history. Bautista was named to the Eastern League Mid-Season and Post-Season All-Star teams, was selected for the All-Star Futures Game in Detroit and was named as the Pirates’ Minor League Player of the Year.
Bautista returned to the big leagues that year with the Pirates and played with them through 2007. He has played for the Toronto Blue Jays since 2009. In his Major League career, Bautista has clubbed 331 home runs, been selected as an American League All-Star in six straight seasons from 2010-2015, led MLB in home runs twice (54 in 2010 and 43 in 2011), along with winning two Hank Aaron Awards (2010 and 2011) and three Silver Slugger Awards (2010, 2011 and 2014).
Years: 2006-2007, 2013
Stats: .283, 15 HR, 70 RBI (131 games in three seasons)
In 2006, Neil Walker came to the Curve as the No. 43 overall prospect in baseball according to Baseball America. A catcher at the time, Walker switched to playing third base for the 2007 season. He was selected as an Eastern League Mid-Season All-Star in 2007, leading the Curve with 124 hits, 77 runs scored, 30 doubles and 53 walks. He was promoted to Triple-A Indianapolis for the final 19 games of the year. Walker returned to the Curve in 2013 on an MLB rehab assignment and batted .417 over four games.
Walker played seven seasons with the Pirates before being traded to the Mets in 2016, and was moved to the Brewers in 2017. In his nine major league seasons, Walker has hit .272 with 130 homers and 522 RBIs.
Stats: .333, 13 HR, 40 RBI (60 games in one season)
Pedro Alvarez came to Altoona in 2009 as one of the most hyped prospects in team history. The second overall pick in the 2008 draft, Alvarez was playing in his first professional season and earned a mid-season call-up from A-Adv. Lynchburg. He was selected to play in the All-Star Futures Game that year in St. Louis. Alvarez was named the team’s MVP for 2009, with the club going 34-26 in games he played in and 26-51 without him. He was also named the Pirates’ Minor League Player of the Year.
Alvarez debuted in the big leagues with the Pirates in June 2010 and played six seasons in Pittsburgh. He was selected as a National League All-Star in 2013, clubbed an NL-leading 36 home runs, and he also won the Silver Slugger Award that year. Now with the Baltimore Orioles, Alvarez has hit 154 homers over eight total MLB seasons.
Stats: .253, 18 HR, 78 RBI (219 games in two seasons)
Eric Wood first suited up for the Curve as their Opening Day third baseman in 2015, the first year in which the Curve qualified for the postseason since 2010. He returned in 2016 and had a breakout season, tying for the team lead and second in the Pirates’ system with 16 homers. He also led the Curve with 63 runs scored and 52 walks en route to earning an Eastern League Post-Season All-Star selection as the circuit’s top third baseman.
Wood was promoted to Triple-A Indianapolis for the 2017 season, where he tied his career-best mark with 16 home runs.
There is your look at the six finalists for the Fans’ Choice All-Time Altoona Curve Team Third Baseman. Be sure to cast your votes here.
Season tickets for the Curve’s 20th season are currently on sale as the team looks to defend its Eastern League championship.