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Charge an error to Curve GM

May 10, 2008
The Altoona Mirror
I am still receiving medical attention for the rather large bruise on the bottom of my chin suffered as my jaw dropped after reading Cory Giger’s article on Todd Parnell’s Altoona Curve attendance worries.

In the article, the Altoona Curve general manager shares his feelings of disappointment regarding a recent game’s attendance — 3,729 fans on a pleasant spring evening. Parnell continues on, stating that for the long hours he works and for the personal sacrifices he makes for the good of the Altoona Curve that we as Altoona Curve fans must step up to the plate and support our team.

An added nice touch is when he refers to himself in the third person, when he pulls back, just a tad, from demanding our improved attendance.

While I definitely appreciate Parnell’s passion for his life’s work, he is way out of the ballpark on this one.

First of all, 3,729 fans in attendance, which is roughly seven percent of Altoona’s population, is hardly a reason to call out the Curve Nation for lack of support.

I would suggest that the front office of the Pirates would be absolutely delighted with a similar percentage of their populace attending games at PNC.

Perhaps if Parnell weren’t so busy spending time at the ballpark, he would notice that the country is in the middle of a recession with energy prices rising almost daily. He should try stepping outside the vacuum he is living in and join reality.

Bottom line: It is just not a smart thing to do when you attack your customers for a perceived lack of support.

I find it especially humorous considering the consistent performance (losing) of the parent club. But since I hold no grudges, and I want Parnell to feel better about his plight, I implore the populace of Blair County and beyond to invigorate their support for the Curve.

Skip a meal if you must. Ride your bike to work a few days. Heck, sell plasma to the Red Cross. We need to show Parnell that we are “all in.”

Hey, maybe we can enlist Sally Struthers to throw out the first pitch next year or maybe we can have a “tastes like foot” night. Wow, the ideas are churning now.

Anyway, at the very least I believe Parnell owes the entire region an apology or maybe it’s simply time for a “change up” down at the ballpark.

John M. Bauman


Curve are a luxury

I am writing in reply to the May 3 interview with Curve general manager Todd Parnell.

Attending a Curve’s game is a luxury. Paying for fuel, food, clothing, medical/dental care, etc., is a necessity that is continuing to increase drastically.

Many of the fans attending a Curve game work 10-12 hour days at minimum for slightly above minimum wages. The cheapest seats plus hot dogs and sodas for a family of four is $35.

Parnell should get off his weepy highchair and appreciate the fans’ support during these bleak economic times.

The business he runs is a luxury, not a necessity.

James Wolfe


Curve staff second to none

On Saturday night, Mother Nature got the best of the Altoona Curve.

Trying desperately to get in at least one of the two games, the grounds crew and front office staff worked feverishly at trying to get the field in shape for at least one game, since Erie would not be returning to Altoona in the 2008 season.

While I’m sure some people are unhappy that they had to wait it out, they were amused by the antics of the front office staff as they tried to keep the crowd entertained by throwing out t-shirts and balls and dancing on the dugout.

The players did their part by throwing out balls and signing autographs for the many crowding near the dugouts.

I have nothing but praise for the untiring efforts of the grounds crew and front office for trying to get a game played, but unfortunately, on this night, Mother Nature beat the Altoona Curve, 2-0.

Eileen Snyder


Low attendance mystifying

After reading Cory Giger’s story on last Friday night’s game against Erie that also included some concerns about attendance expressed by Curve GM Todd Parnell, we, too, share some of the same concerns.

I was able to attend the game, as I often do with my dad, and during the game on several occasions we, too, expressed to each other our concerns about where the fans were. It was a beautiful night for baseball.

While we definitely understand lower attendance when the weather is just plain cold and miserable, it’s hard to figure out why Blair County Ballpark wasn’t packed last Friday night.

During the course of my work, I often travel all of the country, and when I do I always look for a nearby ballpark in the evening, whether it be minor league or major league baseball. I prefer minor league baseball and have seen every level of play, so I see a lot of games.

Never have I seen a team GM that works as hard as Todd Parnell at putting on a good show for the fans in attendance. I’ve never seen another GM participate in the Hamster Ball race, nor have I seen one throw out candy bar after candy bar to the crowd to the point that Parney must have a sore arm every night. And that’s just some of the work that the fans see but doesn’t come close to the work required behind the scenes to produce a quality product like the Curve turn out night after night.

I’m sure Parney would be the first to tell you that it’s a team effort, and it really is, but there also has to be a leader. In Altoona, it’s Parney, who is the leader at Altoona Curve games. Much of his work has brought national attention to Blair County and Altoona, and he deserves better for his efforts with regard to early-season attendance figures.

Growing up in Tyrone, we never had a minor league team to watch and cheer for, and we didn’t have a ballpark the quality of Blair County Ballpark.

I realize it’s been 10 years now, but let’s hope the fans continue to recognize how lucky we are to have the Altoona Curve and appreciate all of the hard work being done daily by Parnell and his team.

We feel Parney’s pain and share his concerns while also appreciating everything he’s done for the team and the city.

Will Walk

Spring, Texas

Concerned about PSU recruiting

I know this is premature, but it seems the top choices at nearly all the skill positions and linebacker have already given verbals elsewhere or are taking Penn State off their list.

This does not mean the next class will not be a great group, but it does mean that it will not be the staff’s first choices at many positions.

We are really going to have a hard time getting a four- or five-star quarterback, wide receiver or running back unless the player already has ties to the Lions.

However, this doesn’t preclude diamonds in the rough from surfacing as the next signing date draws nearer. The chances of this increase greatly if we can pull down a 10-plus win season and a very good bowl.

We are really falling behind Ohio State and Michigan in verbals, and our top in-state recruits are especially slow in committing.

Barry Rex

Poquoson Va.

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