CURVE, Pa. - Ask almost anyone from any generation about a "ghost man" and it will conjure up childhood memories of playing baseball with imaginary base runners. The Altoona Curve (AA, Pirates) plan on bringing those ghost men to life as part of the 2014 Eastern League All-Star Stop in Curve, Pa. on Tuesday, July 15. "The Curve, Pa. Ghost Man Games and Hitting Challenge" will cap an evening's worth of activities at Peoples Natural Gas Field the day before the league's annual All-Star Game, the Curve announced today.
Following the "All-Star Heroes Game" which will pit the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team against a squad of Curve, PA alumni and celebrities, the Eastern League All-Stars will be engaged in "The Curve, Pa. Ghost Man Games and Hitting Challenge". Each division (Eastern vs. Western) will receive six ghost men and have the opportunity to earn up to 15 extra ghost men in five games leading up to the hitting challenge. The games include: Bubble Gum Blowing Challenge, Closest-to-the-Pin Flying Disc Toss, Mascot Mouth Accuracy Challenge, T-Shirt Cannon Catch, and Mascot Dodgeball Challenge. Each game will have three ghost men up for grabs.
Following the five, fast-paced games, three hitters for each division will take their hacks trying to hit home runs and doubles (anything that reaches the warning track on the fly). The trick will be how each division employs their ghost men ahead of home runs or doubles hit by the sluggers in order to score the most runs. Each hitter will get five outs before their turn or "inning" is finished. The divisions will take turns and play a three-inning contest.
"There have been some really unique takes on the home run derby-style event the last couple of years in minor league baseball," said Curve General Manager Rob Egan. "At some point it gets tough to top and you don't want to do something that's been done before, so you try to think of something fun and different. Our staff did a great job coming up with this concept that I think people will identify with and enjoy."
There will be a charitable element to the July 15 activities, as well. In addition to donations that will be solicited from sponsors and individuals prior to the night, a silent auction of the event-worn "Ghost Man Games" jerseys will be held to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. Fans with the winning bids will be able to receive the unique jerseys directly from the players (along with an autograph and photo opportunity) right after the hitting challenge is concluded.
Tickets for "The Curve, PA Ghost Man Games and Hitting Challenge" and all of the Eastern League All-Star Stop festivities on July 15-16 go on sale to the general public on Saturday (December 7) from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in person only at the Peoples Natural Gas Field ticket office.