The magic number through Moyer's pursuit of history has been his age, 49, one tick below his jersey number 50. Paying homage to the ageless southpaw, the Curve will offer $4.90 individual Diamond Club seats and a pair of Grandstand seats for the same price on Thursday night. Fans wishing to utilize the Curve's special $4.90 Thursday seating will find a special coupon in the Thursday Altoona Mirror to bring to the box office as well as on AltoonaCurve.com and by using the promo code "Moyer" when purchasing tickets online at the Curve's official site.
Additionally, any Curve fans in attendance wearing 49ers gear of any team-from San Francisco's NFL team to UNC Charlotte to Long Beach State-will get into the series opener with Richmond for free, as will fans wearing any jersey from one of Moyer's eight MLB clubs over his 25-year career (Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers, St. Louis Cardinals, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Seattle Mariners, Philadelphia Phillies, and Colorado Rockies), anyone from America's 49th state, Alaska, which achieved statehood just three years and ten months before Moyer's birth, and any fan rocking stirrups emulating the lefty's notable leg wear of choice.
The Curve will even have a one-time Moyer opponent in attendance: Altoona manager P.J. Forbes who had three at bats against Moyer in 1998 when Forbes was with Baltimore and Moyer was with Seattle. Moyer got the better of the matchup, retiring Forbes all three times the two faced off.
The embodiment of the term "soft-tossing lefty," Moyer's 49 years and 150 days began in the Keystone State when he was born during the Kennedy administration on November 18, 1962 in Sellersville. Boasting a fastball that wouldn't receive a speeding ticket on most interstates (none of his 87 pitches on Thursday registered higher than 79 mph), he played his high school ball and first made his mark on the baseball world in Souderton before attending Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia. In tribute to the beginnings of this baseball legend, the Curve will offer free Thursday night admission to anyone named Jamie or Moyer, anyone hailing from Souderton or Sellersville, and anyone with a Saint Joseph's University ID card.
Though he broke into the big leagues on June 16, 1986 as a 23-year-old with the Chicago Cubs, and beat Hall of Famer Steve Carlton for his first big league victory that day, Moyer made his biggest impact during eleven seasons with the Seattle Mariners. In the Emerald City, Moyer won 145 games and posted a 3.97 ERA over 324 total appearances with the M's. His wins total still tops the Mariners' franchise record books as does his 21-win total for a single season, a feat he accomplished in 2003. While in his fifth season in Seattle in 2000, Moyer and his wife Karen established the Jamie Moyer Foundation to support programs involved with serving critical needs of children in severe distress such as dealing with significant bereavement or addiction in their families. Thursday night, the Curve will hold a special postgame Ball Launch with all money raised for the event going to the Jamie Moyer Foundation.
"This is a truly remarkable achievement for Jamie Moyer," said Curve General Manager Rob Egan. "If we can celebrate it, have fun with it, and raise some funds and awareness for the Moyer Foundation, so much the better. I'm just a little worried we might giveaway all of our tickets to people in the northern part of Cambria County as the name Moyer is like Smith in that part of our region."
Moyer returned this season from Tommy John surgery that robbed him of his 2011 campaign. When Moyer made his major league debut, Tommy John himself was still an active pitcher in the big leagues, and 26 years later, the Rockies' hurler eclipsed former Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Jack Quinn as the oldest pitcher to earn a victory in the bigs. Quinn accomplished his own version of finding baseball's fountain of youth in 1932 at 49 years, 70 days. Moyer's Tuesday win came for a Rockies franchise that didn't even exist for the first six years of Moyer's career. His '86 debut came before 263 big leaguers from 2011 were even born including his Tuesday opponent, San Diego's Anthony Bass who wasn't born until November 1, 1987. Just five members of the Curve roster were alive when Moyer stepped onto a big league mound for the first time: pitchers Kris Harvey, Kris Johnson, Matt McSwain, and Duke Welker, and outfielder Anthony Norman.
The facts stated above along with others from the nearly-three-decades-long Moyer Era will be featured on the video board at Peoples Natural Gas Field during the Moyer Megabowl game between the Curve and Richmond. There's no truth to the rumor that there's a 12-foot-high trophy for the winner of the contest, but the Moyer Megabowl just might be something you'll want to tell your grandkids, and their grandkids, and their grandkids about.
Those five and the rest of the Curve open a promo-packed homestand with Thursday's Moyer Megabowl. The 6:30 p.m. series opener of four with the Flying Squirrels is also a Thirsty Thursday™ with $2 Miller Lite 16-ounce drafts and $1.50 regular sodas. Friday night, the first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive a Curve Beanie Cap prior to the 6:30 p.m first pitch, and Saturday is the second Curve, Pa. Blue Out Saturday of the season with a postgame fireworks show following the 6 p.m. contest. The Curve wrap up the first series of this seven-game homestand on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. on Atlantic Broadband Customer Appreciation Day. The Curve will also be collecting computers to be recycled on the first Community Collection Day of the season benefitting Skills of Central Pa., Inc.
Tickets for Moyer Megabowl, the Curve's seven-game, eight-day homestand, and the rest of the 2012 season are available by calling (877).99.CURVE, stopping by Peoples Natural Gas Field, or online at www.AltoonaCurve.com.