It was a good day for the Altoona Curve (Class AA; Eastern League) yesterday: an attendance record was set as the Curve prevailed against parent Pittsburgh, the team’s PDC was extended, and the ballpark will host an All-Star Game.
First: the exhibition game against the Pittsburgh Pirates yesterday drew 10,116 fans, a record attendance at Peoples Natural Gas Field. It broke the previous attendance record set in 2006, when Altoona hosted the Eastern League All-Star Game and 9,308 fans were on hand. The fans went home happy, as the Curve beat the Bucs, 8-6.
It was the topper to the day that saw two other big announcements. First, the Pirates and Curve announced an extension of their Player Development Contract (PDC) through the 2018 season, The announcement was made by Curve owner Bob Lozinak, Curve General Manager Rob Egan, Pirates President Frank Coonelly and Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington.
Altoona, which at the end of its previous agreement would have already become the longest-standing Pirates affiliate in the modern era, will strengthen its hold on that mark having been affiliated with the Pirates for 20 consecutive seasons at the end of the newest agreement (1999-2018). When the newest extension reaches its 20th season, the Curve will join an exclusive club of minor league teams that have been affiliated with their parent organization for 20 or more consecutive seasons. Of the 160 affiliated teams in MiLB, 26 teams currently have an affiliation with their parent club that is 20 or more years.
“We’re excited to extended our affiliation with the Major League club the fans of our region have been passionate about long before the Curve came into being,” Lozinak said. “Beginning our 15th season, the roots of the Pirates-Curve relationship are stronger than ever and we’re so pleased to see so many of our former players making an impact in Pittsburgh. We’re grateful to the Pirates’ ownership and management for their commitment to the Curve as further evidenced by their participation in today’s exhibition game in Altoona. We look forward to many, many more years as a proud affiliate.”
“We are extremely pleased to continue our terrific, long-term partnership with the Curve,” Coonelly said. “The Curve represent what we feel is the perfect minor league affiliation for the Pirates in many ways, including the strong ownership group, excellent management team, a great ballpark and, most importantly, the best fans in all of minor league baseball.”
During the game, it was announced Curve will host the 2014 Eastern League All-Star Game, with Curve GM Rob Egan and Eastern League President Joe McEacharn doing the honors. It is the second time in franchise history that the Curve will have hosted the Eastern League’s version of the midsummer classic and the first time since the 2006 season.The game is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, July 16, 2014.
“We’re excited to showcase the best talent in the Eastern League to the fans of our region,” Egan said. “We’re also looking forward to showcasing Altoona, Blair County, and Central Pennsylvania to the players, coaches, team executives, and fans from throughout the Northeast with the various activities we will plan.”
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