Welcome home, Curve

It’s about time for the Curve to play ball, and thankfully, we say.

Few noises mark the sound of spring better than the crack of a bat, a sight that is always welcome at this time of the year, but especially so after the miserably cold winter many have experienced this year.

Those with cabin fever – and who can blame them? – surely will welcome the opportunity to again spend some summer nights at Peoples Natural Gas Field watching the Curve in action.

That’s something that starts tonight when the Curve host the Erie SeaWolves for a 6:30 p.m. first pitch as the local Double-A team embarks on its 16th season.

It’s hard to believe 15 seasons have already passed; it seems like only a short time ago when current owner Bob Lozinak and the late Tate DeWeese had their vision fulfilled and groundbreaking on the current park began in Lakemont.

The Curve are an ally of the community, as evidenced by the considerable support people throughout Blair, Bedford, Cambria, Centre and Huntingdon counties have shown since the team’s inception in 1999.

When the Curve play Friday night, the franchise is expected to welcome its five millionth fan, a remarkable achievement for one of the smallest Double-A markets in the country and a testament to the faith of all of those who played a part in bringing the Curve to Altoona.

But the Curve are not just Altoona’s pride; the franchise’s reach extends throughout the region, something the franchise tries to highlight with its Curve, PA marketing.

Part of the Curve’s charm is how appealing a night out at the ballpark can be no matter what your interests are. Whether your interests are in seeing future stars with the Pittsburgh Pirates, future stars with other Major League Baseball teams, a night out with your family and friends or just spending some time outdoors during the spring and summer months, the social hub the ballpark acts as covers all of your bases.

Among the highlights this season are the Curve hosting the Eastern League All-Star game on July 16 for the second time, and the franchise has adopted a “Catch Stars in Curve, PA” theme this year.

A number of television stars will visit PNG Field in addition to the stars on the field, and the Curve hope their 16th season shines brightly.

We do, too.