Showing once again that the pipeline from Blair County Ballpark to Pittsburgh doesn't go just one way, a notable member of the Steelers will make an appearance at a Curve game for the third straight year.
Linebacker Lawrence Timmons will be the featured guest at the second home game of the season, April 15 against Richmond, and will sign autographs for two hours during the game. Timmons, who also will throw a ceremonial first pitch, follows appearances by Steeler players LaMarr Woodley in 2009 and Ziggy Hood last year.
"The appearance by Lawrence Timmons on April 15 is sure to be a hit with our fans here in the middle of black and gold country," Curve general manager Rob Egan said. "It will also be a perfect fit for what we're billing as our 'Championship Weekend' to open the 2011 home schedule."
Mirror photo by J.D.?Cavrich
Lawrence Timmons led the Steelers with 135 tackles this past season.
The home opener April 14 will include a pregame ring ceremony honoring the Curve's 2010 Eastern League title. The Sunday game that weekend will include a replica EL championship trophy giveaway to fans.
Timmons led the AFC champion Steelers with 135 tackles this past season. He was the No. 15 pick in the 2007 draft out of Florida State and has been a starter the past two seasons.
Minor camp opens
While many minor leaguers already have been in camp, the rest were expected to arrive in Bradenton on Saturday and will undergo physicals this morning. The first full-squad minor league workouts will take place Monday.
"We've had a lot of guys down here already - starting pitchers throughout the organization, A-ball on up," Curve manager P.J. Forbes said.
"It's been a great camp so far down here," Forbes added. "I've learned a ton and have really enjoyed the atmosphere that [Pirates manager] Clint Hurdle and his staff have established down here and knowing that we're going in the right direction."
Forbes, about to begin third season managing in the Pirate organization, praised the Bucco brass for running an efficient camp and maximizing the work time for the players and coaches.
"As minor league camps go - I've been to a ton of them as a player and more and more as a manager - the organization down here is phenomenal," Forbes said.
SUBHD: Priorities in order
Forbes is well respected as an organizational manager who keeps his focus on the primary goal - developing players - and not on day-to-day results.
The Curve, it just so happens, should field a talented team that likely will perform well in the win-loss column as they develop this season.
"The key for me is winning and winning the right way," Forbes said. "If we're playing the game the right way, the wins and losses will take care of themselves.
"The old adage 'you're only as good as your pitching' I think is gonna hold true. If we have guys that continue to advance the way that they did last year ... then we ought to be solid and give ourselves a chance to win every night."
Cory Giger can be reached at 949-7031 and email@example.com.