July 7, 2008 - Eastern League (EL) - Altoona Curve
ALTOONA- The Altoona Curve's world-famous (sort of) "Awful Night" will return TONIGHT when the Curve (AA/Eastern League) host the Harrisburg Senators at 7:05 p.m. at Blair County Ballpark. The sixth installment of the club's innovative and award-winning ballpark theme night is known as "Awful Night VI - Worseest Ever" and the awfulness will commence immediately when gates open to the general public at 6 p.m.
A staple of the first five Awful Night promotions has been a truly "awful" giveaway item to greet fans as they enter the ballpark. Past favorites have included bubble wrap, bottomless cups and sporks. This year is no exception, as the first 258 fans through the gates will receive a ball of lint.
As fans enter the ballpark, they will immediately see and hear the awfulness. Awful music and video clips will be played, and during the game, player at-bat songs won't be sung by the actual artist, but rather will be pre-recorded renditions sung a cappella by awful singers. The ballpark's giant videoboard will purvey the night's theme with awful player headshots and graphics and player statistics will be displayed as fail percentages and errors (in place of the standard batting average, home runs and RBI's). The right-field scoreboard, which during "normal" games shows fun facts about the teams and players will educate fans with awful nuggets such as: "Blair County Ballpark is located in Blair County, which is located in Pennsylvania, one of the 50 United States."
Curve front office staff, ushers and other ballpark personnel will be getting into the act by showing off their versions of awful attire. This promotion is particularly popular among front office staffers, who, at the end of a long homestand, are undoubtedly low on their stockpiles of khakis, polo shirts, socks and underwear. In addition, many of those individuals will be stationed for a period of time hosting awful activities, which in most cases are a play on words using their last names. For example, there will be a "Parney Petting Zoo", featuring Curve General Manager Todd Parnell, "Mountain Climbing" with Curve Entertainment Producer Ken Mountain, and a "Pence Dispenser", where fans can pat Ticket Sales Account Executive Mike Pence on the head and he will hand out small pieces of candy.
Awful Night's resident superhero, Captain Awful, is expected to make his annual return to Blair County Ballpark to join in the festivities. Captain Awful has become the living mascot of Awful Night and can be distinguished by his red cape and the letter "A", which is shaved out of his chest hair.
Always a hit on Awful Night are the very innovative, fun and head-scratching in-game promotions. This year's lineup will include such one-hit wonders as "Pizza Topping Scream", "Hot Coffee Chugging Contest" and "Pit-Stained T-Shirt Toss". Even the ceremonial pre-game first pitches will have an awful twist as fans will be asked to use their non-throwing arm when tossing the baseball to the catcher.
Ballpark food is never off limits for Awful Night and this year Curve fans attending Monday's game will have the opportunity to purchase a tasty side of scrapple. Scrapple is a regional food common to the Mid-Atlantic states and is described by Wikipedia as "a savory mush of pork scraps and trimmings combined with cornmeal and flour." That dish will have fans yearning for Spam and Tang, which were the food and beverage targets of the original Awful Night in 2003.
"As we've said many times in the past, the goal of Awful Night is not to provide fans with awful customer service, awful baseball or a literally awful experience," said Altoona Curve General Manager Todd Parnell, who gave away pictures of his gall bladder to fans attending Awful Night IV in 2006. "This is a light-hearted promotion, where we aren't poking fun at anyone or any group in particular, but rather we are poking fun at ourselves and in the end just asking fans to give us a courtesy laugh or two throughout the game."
"Usually this is the point of the press release where I go on to talk about how the goal of this promotion is to keep the awfulness outside the white lines," added Parnell. "This is very true and we are serious about not affecting the game so we are removing scrapple from the players' pre-game menu in the clubhouse."
Great seats remain for Monday's awfulness and can be purchased by visiting the Blair County Ballpark Ticket Office, by calling (877) 99-CURVE, or by logging on to AltoonaCurve.com and clicking one of the "BUY TICKETS" links on the homepage.
Media requesting additional information should contact Jason Dambach at (814) 943-5400, ext. 194 or firstname.lastname@example.org.