Posted by: A Part of the Solution | September 9, 2010

How ‘Bout that Curve?

I’m not an athletic person, maybe that’s why I’m pretty good at watching sports. But I must say, I don’t cotton to watching baseball on TV. There’s too much time between the things which ‘happen’ in a baseball game–and way too many way too repetitive commercials. However, I can’t think of a time when I didn’t enjoy live baseball.

When I was a little girl, we lived in one of the suburbs of Chicago. My father would take us down to Wrigley Field to watch the Cubs play. We all loved the ballpark experience. Though we didn’t get a lot of the overpriced things to eat and drink and play with, just being there in person whilst our team often lost and sometimes won, was all the treat we wanted. This was the beginning of my love affair with live baseball.

It didn’t hurt to move into O’s territory when we came east and settled fewer than twenty miles from Baltimore. And then came Camden Yard, the ne plus ultra of baseball fields: the best of old and new in one swell facility. Too bad it was so unaffordable. I used to jump at the occasional ticket offered to me because someone couldn’t use their season ticket, or someone had cancelled on a ballgame at the last moment.

All of this is leading up to Blair County Ball Park and the team which plays there: The Altoona Curve. Never mind that the Curve are leading their division this season and headed to double A playoffs. The ball field is stupendous for a minor league facility. And it’s better than the old O’s park was for sure.

Blair County Ball Park can seat more than seven thousand people. It’s right next to an amusement park. It has plenty of parking, and it’s just off Interstate 99. There’s usually a special on one form of beer or another. And if the park isn’t full, you can sit anywhere you want–even if you have a four dollar ticket for the bleachers!

Why is the AA Pittsburgh Pirates feeder team named the Curve? Well they’re named for a famous feat of railroad engineering located just outside of Altoona. It’s called the Horseshoe Curve, and was built in 1854. It’s still operational, and is still the primary means of getting freight bearing trains from one side of the Allegheny Mountains to the other.

The Curve’s most visible mascot is Steamer. He (?) is shaped like the front of an old steam engine, but s/he kind of looks like a green ketchup bottle. Steamer’s companion mascot is Diesel Dawg. And just this year, the club added Al Tuna–though Al looks more like a giant goldfish than any tuna I’ve ever seen or heard of. The mascots are great with the crowds at Blair County Ball Park. They entertain and distract between innings.

Why I am I posting this at the end of the regular baseball season? Because there’s always next year, and you can find their schedule posted on line. The fifty-five miles to Altoona isn’t far–there are only about five traffic lights between our farm and club parking. You know you want to be there with a bag of peanuts in one hand and a box of CrackerJacks® in the other.


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