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2012 Curve Media Guide

2012 Curve Media Guide

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Published by Mike Passanisi

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Published by: Mike Passanisi on Apr 09, 2012
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 The 2012 Altoona Curve Media & Inormation Guide is a publication o the Altoona Curve Communications Department. All inormationcurrent as o March 27, 2012. This publication was researched and written by Mike Passanisi and Tyler Maun o the Altoona Curve Com-munications Department. Layout, design and editing by Mike Passanisi and Tyler Maun. Previous research provided by Rob Egan, JasonDambach, Dan Zangrilli and Josh Ellis.Photos used in this publication provided by the
 Altoona Mirror 
, Pittsburgh Pirates’ Team Photographer Dave Arrigo, Altoona Curve TeamPhotographers Jason Sipes, Teri Enciso and Scott Myers, the Bradenton Marauders, West Virginia Power Photographer Robin Black and Tim Klym/Augusta GreenJackets. Statistical inormation provided in part by Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM), 75 NinthAvenue, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10011.Printed by theprinters.com, 3500 East College Ave, Suite 1000, State College, PA, 16801, Phone: 814.237.7600. Get more inormation attheprinters.com.Special thanks to Kyle Stark, Larry Broadway and Diane DePasquale o the Pirates’ Baseball Operations Department or their assistance.Further inormation on the 2012 Altoona Curve is available through the Curve Media Relations Department by calling (814) 283-3128 orby visiting www.altoonacurve.com.© 2012 Lozinak Proessional Baseball, LLC
2012 Fast Facts
ALTOONA CURVE FRANCHISE ..........................210
2012 ALTOONA CURVE ...................................1150
CURVE HISTORY & RECORDS.........................5182
PIRATES ORGANIZATION ...............................9396
THE EASTERN LEAGUE ....................................8392
GENERAL INFORMATION .............................97106
 The dream o one native son that began decades ago has notonly become a reality, but is about to enter its 14th season in2012. The story o the Altoona Curve begins in 1979. Areanative Bob Lozinak, a successul McDonald’s ranchisee, knewhis hometown was a baseball haven and always dreamed o what it would be like to have a proessional sports team inhis hometown. He had a chance to make a dream o manycome to ruition, so as the 1970s were about to come toa close, a series o meetings and preliminary discussionstook place to put the plan into motion. However, there wasenough opposition that thwarted the idea as an initial earrom natives was that a proessional team would hurt thesuccessul youth teams in the region. Proessional baseball,or the time being, was put on the back burner.In the meantime, that same year, Bob and his amily wentacross the country and bought what became one o themost successul ranchises in the entire country - the Albuquerque Dukes, the long-time Triple-A aliate o the LosAngeles Dodgers.Fast-orward 16 years.Like many other decisions in baseball, the latest round o major league expansion had a domino eect on the minorleagues. In 1995, Arizona and Tampa Bay were awarded major league ranchises to play their inaugural season in 1998. To keep pace, baseball’s rookie level added two teams in 1996. The ollow-ing year, Class ‘A’ and Class ‘AAA’ each increased by two teams. That let only Class ‘AA’ in need o expansion to match the number o teams in the big leagues. In 1997, the National Association o ProessionalBaseball Leagues, as it was then called, decided the Eastern League wouldreceive the two new ranchises to start play in 1999. Erie was an easy rstchoice o the NAPBLs expansion committee. Ater all, the SeaWolves hadestablished short-season attendance records in the new Jerry Uht Park aspart o the New York-Penn League rom 1995-98. The awarding o the second ranchise wasn’t easy. For months, it seemedSpringeld, Mass. would land the team. However, an inability to nalize land and stadium nance deals let the NAPBLlooking or another option. Enter Altoona. City native
Bob Lozinak 
and a group o Pennsylvania lawmakers put togetheran 11th hour stadium nancing package and site plan. The proposal was presented to the expansion committee at anOctober 5, 1997 meeting in Las Vegas. It received unanimous approval and Double-A baseball was on its way to Altoona.Ballpark ground breaking ceremonies took place on March 7, 1998 and the ranchise was ocially awarded the ollow-ing month. In June o that year, the team selected “Curve” as its nickname. The combination railroad/baseball monikerbeat out several choices like “Lake Monsters,“Ridge Runners” and, believe it or not, “Fish!” The next step or the Curve was aliating with a major league team. Erie seemed to have an inside track on becom-ing the Pirates’ new Double-A club, as the SeaWolves had served asPittsburgh’s short-season club rom 1995-98. However, ater a serieso meetings with potential major league parent clubs, the Curvelanded the coveted aliation with the Pirates. The September 1998announcement took the ranchise to another level as the U.S. Route22 pairing seemed an ideal t. Central Pennsylvania ans, with theirstrong Pirates’ roots, could now cheer or the Bucs’ top prospects ontheir way to Pittsburgh. The long-awaited rst game in Curve history took place on April9, 1999 in Reading, Pa. The game against the Phillies’ aliate wassuspended by rain and completed the next day as part o a double-header. For the record, the Curve lost their rst contest, 6-2, butrecorded their rst win hours later with a 6-4 decision in game twoo the twinbill.Finally, the Curve christened Blair County Ballpark on April 15 witha triumph over the Bowie Baysox. A huge crowd o 6,171 attendedthe history-making contest despite cold, rainy weather and nearly aone-hour delay.
Groundbreaking ceremonies, March 7, 1998 The uture site o Blair County Ballpark with nearby Lakemont Park in the distance New Curve owner Bob Lozinak sports his Pirates jacket at the press conerence announcing what has become one o the longest and most successul aliations between a minor league ranchise and a major league parent club.
Ater three remarkable seasons, the Lozinak amily sold theranchise to a group headed by Pittsburgh attorney
Chuck Greenberg
on April 2, 2002. Among the limited partners inGreenberg’s collective: Pittsburgh Penguins’ owner, star centerand NHL Hall o Famer
Mario Lemieux
; Pittsburgh Steelers’ all-pro running back 
 Jerome Bettis
; Altoona-based businessmen
Steve Sheetz
Don Devorris
Todd Parnell
would be tabbedas the team’s new General Manager.On August 5, 2002 the Curve announced a new our-year a-liation agreement with Pittsburgh, securing one o baseball’sstrongest aliations through 2006. Despite the ownershipchange, the Curve ranchise enjoyed its most successul seasonto that point, drawing 363,871 ans to Blair County Ballpark.Between the 2002 and ‘03 seasons, Blair County Ballpark underwent its rst major capital expansion project, as a newthird-base Picnic Area, let-eld Party Deck and outeld reserved seating section were constructed. The additions o the new areas brought the seating capacity o the ballpark to just over 7,200 and created enough room to hold nearly10,000 ans on any night.During the 2003 season, the Curve, led by third-year manager
Dale Sveum,
took the ranchise to new heights on theeld, posting a 78-63 regular season record and securing the club’s rst-ever Eastern League postseason berth. The Curvewould lose to the eventual E.L. Champion Akron Aeros three-games-to-one in the rst round o the playos. The playo run helped uel yet another ranchise attendance record as 365,376 ans came through the gates at Blair County Ballpark.In 2004, the Curve, managed by
Tony Beasley
, nished with a league-best 85-56 record and not only returned to theplayos, but took the next step and advanced to the Eastern League Championship Series or the rst time in club his-tory beore losing to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. The ‘04 season also turned out to be abanner year at the gates as the Curve added a th consecutive ranchise attendance recordater drawing 394,062 ans to Blair County Ballpark. Among those ans who attended Curvehome games in 2004 was Vice President
Dick Cheney
, who attended the club’s Fourth o July game against Harrisburg. Following the season, Curve General Manager
Todd Parnell
 was honored as the Eastern League Executive o the Year, while the ranchise was presentedthe prestigious Larry MacPhail Trophy symbolizing the top promotional eort, both on ando the eld, in all o baseball. The 2005 edition o the Curve reached postseason play in dramatic ashion, sweeping a our-game road series rom Bowie during the nal weekend o the season to reach the playos ora third consecutive season. Despite losing in the rst round o the playos, the Curve won bigearlier in the season when the ranchise was named the host o the 2006 E.L. All-Star Game.Altoona would have a banner year in 2006. The highlight o the season,and arguably the top moment in the rst eight seasons o Curve base-ball, came on July 12th when Altoona played host to the 2006 EasternLeague All-Star Game. A Blair County Ballpark-record crowd o 9,308 were on hand to witness CurveAll-Star
Brett Roneberg
take home MVP honors in a 5-3 win or the Southern Division All-Stars.In the all o 2006, the ranchise won two prestigious awards, most notably the John H. JohnsonPresident’s Trophy, which is given annually to Minor League Baseball’s top club on the basis o long-time ranchise stability, contributions to and promotion o the baseball industry and the nancialsuccess o the team. Also, the Curve were honored by
Baseball America
as the 2006 winner o theDouble-A Bob Freitas Award. The 2007 season proved to be a year in which the Curve continued their winning ways, as the clubmarched on to its sixth consecutive winning season. However, it wasn’t enough to qualiy or post-season play, as the club nished with an overall mark o 73-68. That season, plenty o the Pirates’top prospects passed through Blair County Ballpark. In addition to third-baseman
Neil Walker
Andrew McCutchen
, rst basemen
Steve Pearce
enjoyed one o the nest seasons inclub history en route to being named the 2007 Topps/Minor League Player o the Year.In 2008, the Curve celebrated their storybook 10th anniversary season welcoming back plenty o ormer stars, including
Adam Hyzdu
 Josh Boniay
, among many others. The Curve also unveiledtheir 10th Anniversary All-Time team.On June 17,
 Jimmy Carter
, the 39th President o the United States attended the Curve versus Read-ing game while on a shing trip in nearby Huntingdon.
Blair County Ballpark ribbon cutting, April 15, 1999.Vice President Dick Cheney addresses the crowd on his visit to BCB on July 4, 2004.The Curve captured the  John H. Johnson Award in 2006 as the top ranchise in the country.

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