Dead come alive at ballpark

“The Walking Dead” fanatic Brodie Dodson, 8, of Altoona had just finished meeting a famous person for the first time in his life when he realized he froze in the moment.

“Oh, shoot!” he said to his dad, Justin, after chatting with actor Vincent M. Ward, who played Oscar during season three of “The Walking Dead.” “I forgot to ask him if I could be on the show.”

The Curve’s zombie-themed night was a hit for people like the Dodsons. Justin Dodson’s daughter Brodie’s sister spent about an hour painting makeup on their faces before the game, and although Justin Dodson said he is more of a “huge Halloween-type fan” than “Walking Dead” fan, he said Brodie hasn’t missed an episode of the show.

Brodie’s zest for the show came through in his wardrobe: Makeup covered his face, he wore a “Walking Dead” T-shirt and also sported a ripped-to-shreds white shirt that bore Ward’s signature in the back. The Dodsons waited in line for about half an hour to meet Ward, but Brodie’s cousin, Baine Seilhammer, 11, estimated he waited about two hours.

Ward was the drawing card for a portion of the 3,718 people on hand, but the zombie theme stretched beyond the actor’s appearance. Fans who came to the game dressed as zombies received free admission one woman carried around a cooler that appeared bludgeoned and said “human organ transplant” – and about 30 zombies in search of a snack chased after bagels during the bagel run.

The Curve also wore zombie apocalypse-inspired jerseys for the night that were auctioned off with proceeds benefiting – who better? – the American Red Cross, which received $3,915.

“We figured, if there’s a zombie apocalypse, they’re going to need a lot of blood,” Curve director of communications Mike Passanisi quipped.

Still, the star of the night was Ward, who appeared in seven episodes of season three and is best known for being one of the prisoners who survived the zombie apocalypse. Rick, one of the show’s main characters, found Oscar inside the prison.

“I wish [Oscar] would have lasted longer,” said Duncansville’s Brandon Schwartz. “But he saved Rick.”

Perhaps an indicator of the show’s broad appeal comes from one man who wasn’t a fan of “The Walking Dead,” his wife was.

“I’m just trying to please her,” he said.

He walked out with two programs signed by Ward.