It may not have been the best game ever played at Blair County Ballpark, but it provided some of the best memories of any Curve home contest in 12 seasons.
"As soon as he hit it, the first words out of my mouth was, 'That's gone,'" Altoona manager Matt Walbeck said.
It was indeed gone, so at 12:52 a.m. Saturday - 5 hours and 49 minutes after they had started playing - the Curve finally beat New Hampshire, 4-3.
Miles Durham stepped to the plate with one out in the bottom of the 19th inning and the game tied at 3. On a 2-2 pitch from reliever Vince Bongiovanni, Durham smoked a ball to left-center.
About 600 fans who had stuck it out all night had to be thinking the exact same thing as Durham.
"Please go over. Please get over the fence," the Curve hitter thought to himself.
Broadcaster Dan Zangrilli made what had to be the best call of his career as he went nuts on the radio.
"A drive by Durham, it's high and deep, left-center field, and it is goooooooooooone. It is goooooooooooone. Durham has won the longest game in the history of Altoona Curve baseball."
The video on the Curve's Facebook page is a must watch for Zangrilli's call alone.
Durham celebrated the first walk-off homer of his career by pumping his right fist as he jogged toward second base. Curve players raced out of the dugout as if they had won a championship, and the celebration at home plate was as good as any in franchise history.
Durham spread his arms wide approaching the plate before getting mobbed by his teammates.
"It was just exhilarating," Walbeck said.
The Curve also played a 19-inning game at Norwich in 2000, and three times they have gone 15 innings at BCB. The previous record time for a home contest was 4 hours and 32 minutes, or 77 minutes shorter than Friday's marathon.
The Eastern League has a rule that no inning can start after 12:50 p.m. The Curve, however, already had been in contact with EL president Joe McEachern about waiving that rule, which he did.
So had Durham not belted his game-winning homer, there's no telling how much longer play would have continued.
Unfortunately for the fans who stuck around, they did not get to see the scheduled postgame fireworks show. Logan Township laws prevent public fireworks displays after midnight.
The game itself was entertaining and frustrating at the same time. There were some terrific defensive plays, most notably one by New Hampshire center fielder Darin Mastroianni, who made a game-saving grab in the 10th inning while colliding with right fielder Adam Loewen.
The Curve had 17 hits, all singles until Durham's homer, but they missed out on numerous chances to take the lead.
Most impressive was the pitching by both bullpens. Altoona's relievers threw 15 shutout innings and allowed just six hits, while the Fisher Cats were equally tough until the 19th, giving up no runs on eight hits in 12 innings.
"There was a lot of pressure on everybody playing in that game," Curve pitching coach Tom Filer said before adding, "There's a lot of things going on, and one mistake could cost anybody the game."
The Curve's unsung hero was reliever Tom Boleska, who took a line drive off his hip but stayed in the game and pitched four shutout innings to earn his first-career Double-A victory.
"You should see the welt he's got on him today," Filer said. "He got hit in the hip, and it looks like it's tie-dyed right now the way it's all multi-colored."
The Curve won the game, which ultimately made it more entertaining from the local perspective. Still, this was a battle of two outstanding teams going toe to toe, and part of what made the night so memorable was the terrific effort put forth by the visiting Fisher Cats.
"There was a lot of heart tonight on both sides," Walbeck said.
Cory Giger is the host of "Sports Central" from 4 to 6 p.m. daily on ESPN Radio 1430 WVAM. He can be reached at 949-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org.