Altoona Curve History

The Altoona Curve History
by Malcolm MacMillan
  • Team joined Eastern League in 1999
  • Has been affiliated with nearby Pirates since day one
As you walk through Peoples Natural Gas Field, look for banners recognizing past players, include Andrew McCutchen.

As you might expect, the addition of the Arizona Diamondback and Tampa Bay Devil Rays to Major League Baseball in 1998 meant that Minor League Baseball would also see an expansion. The creation of these two new MLB franchises paved the way for Altoona to receive a pro team; however, the Altoona squad would be affiliated with the Pittsburgh Pirates, rather than one of the new MLB expansion clubs.

The team’s name was chosen because of its appropriate double meaning. While related to a type of pitch in any pitcher’s arsenal, Altoona is renowned for the Horseshoe Curve, a 3,485-foot railway curve that is definitely worth visiting if you’re in the area. The newly formed Curve began play in the Western Division of the Eastern League at the start of the 1999 season, and have remained in the same league and division ever since.

The Curve were initially owned by Altoona resident Bob Lozniak before being sold to Chuck Greenberg in 2002. Greenberg is most notable for owning the Texas Rangers. In 2008, Greenberg sold the team back to Lozniak and five months later, the Pirates and Curve extended their partnership through the 2014 season.

Like its Major League Baseball counterpart in Pittsburgh, the Curve have struggled to achieve success. The club has just one Eastern League title (2010) and two division crowns (2004 and 2010) to its credit.

Notable alumni

Bronson Arroyo
José Bautista
Rajai Davis
Ryan Doumit
Tom Gorzelanny
Andrew McCutchen
Nyjer Morgan
Nate McLouth
Jack Wilson