Altoona Curve Tickets
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Akron Rubber Ducks vs. Altoona Curve
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Alluding to the curveball and named after nearby Horseshoe Curve, The Altoona Curve is a minor league baseball team based in Altoona, Pennsylvania. Double-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates major-league club the team plays in the Eastern League. The Curve play in Blair County Ballpark which is located in Altoona. It was opened in 1999 and seats 7,210 fans.
Groundbreaking on Blair County Ballpark took place on March 7, 1998, and the franchise was formally awarded in April. In June of that year, the Curve nickname was selected over several other proposals, including Lake Monsters, Ridge Runners, and the Altoona Fish.
The Altoona Curve began their first season on the road at the Reading Phillies on April 9, 1999. Unfortunately their first game was intruded by rain and completed the next day as part of a doubleheader. The Curve scored their first-ever victory in the second game, beating Reading 6-4.
On April 2, 2002, Lozinak and DeWeese sold the franchise. The first season under new ownership was the most successful to date, performance-wise as well as economically. During August, the Pirates signed on for another four-year development agreement through the 2006 season.
During the 2003 season, the Curve took the franchise to new heights on the field, posting a 78-63 regular season record and securing the club's first-ever Eastern League postseason berth, losing to the eventual Eastern League champion Akron Aeros three games to one in the first round of the playoffs. That was the most appreciated victory snatched by the team after immense competition. The playoff run helped fuel yet another franchise attendance record as 365,376 fans came through the gates at Blair County Ballpark. Later the Curve followed that up with two more appearances in 2004 and 2005. Their performance on the field has led to increased numbers in the stands, and the Curve increased attendance for five consecutive years before plummeting by just a few thousand in 2005.
The very next year brought laurels and honors for the league as General Manager Todd Parnell was privileged with the title of the Eastern League Executive of the Year, and the franchise won the Larry MacPhail Trophy for the best promotional effort (on and off the field) in all of Minor League Baseball.
On April 2, 2006 many favorable news were pronounced that brought about more challenges for the team to look forward to. Greenberg and his group declared an additional four-year extension on the development agreement with the Pirates, keeping the Curve's affiliation intact through at least the 2010 season. Thus, making Curve an arena hard to loose even for the upcoming 4 years. The Altoona Curve hosted the Eastern League All-Star Game at Blair County Ballpark on July 12, 2006, before a standing-room-only crowd of 9,308.
Like many other decisions in baseball, the latest round of major league expansion had a domino effect on the minor leagues. By the year 1996, Class 'A' and Class 'AAA' each had an addition of two teams, that left only Class 'AA' in need of expansion to match the number of teams in the big leagues. In 1997, the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, proclaimed their decision in favor of the Eastern League, which would receive the two new franchises to start play in 1999.
Selection of an ideal location that could serve as the site for a future ballpark was one of the first major decision for the owners of the new Altoona franchise to take. DeWeese had envisioned a location for the Curve's future home. Practically considering the developer's singular vision, DeWeese identified a grassy patch in the shadow of Lakemont Park's iconic wooden rollercoaster as an ideal location for today's Blair County Ballpark. In March 1998, groundbreaking ceremonies for Ballpark took place with an official awarding of the arena to the team. In June, the Altoona selected Curve as its nickname. The league won name in the list of sports teams in a blink of an eye when teams usually consider and reconsider in managing and organizing themselves, the Curve's won the hearts of many in due course of time.
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