CURVE, Pa. - The Altoona Curve have named Derek Martin as their new general manager, the club announced on Friday afternoon at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
"D-Mar" returns to the Altoona front office, where he served in various roles from 2004-2007, including director of sales.
"I would like to thank the Lozinak family for giving me this opportunity," Martin said. "Not often do dreams become a reality, but that has happened today."
"We have a great staff in place," Martin added. "I look forward to working with them to continue growing this organization. I can't wait to get started and hit the ground running as we prepare for the 2017 season."
Martin joined the Myrtle Beach Pelicans as the team's assistant general manager from 2007-2009. After three seasons in South Carolina, Martin returned to Pennsylvania in 2009, where he worked with Blue Knob Auto in finance and insurance from 2009-2012. Most recently, he worked as a commercial insurance agent for the Teeter Group from 2012-2016.
"After going through the resumes, I decided that Derek fills all the things that we want," Altoona founder and owner Bob Lozinak said. "Not knowing him well before, that may be a benefit to us. He brings a fresh outlook to us.
"We know his background is in sales, which is critical to the success to a minor league team. We admire his family. We think this is a step in the right direction for our organization. Every comment about him we have received has been overwhelmingly positive so far, that he's an excellent person. I think we got a good man."
Martin, a native of Clarion, Pa. and a graduate of Slippery Rock University, began his career in baseball as an intern with the Reading Phillies in 2001. From 2002-2003, he completed an internship with Aramark food and beverage service at Pittsburgh's PNC Park before joining the Curve's sales staff in November 2003. He became the team's director of sales in January 2004.
Peoples Natural Gas Field is near and dear to Martin's heart. He met his wife, Abby, at the ballpark in 2006. The team held a bachelor auction to benefit muscular dystrophy, with participants bidding on Curve staff members for dates. Martin's now-mother-in-law, Betsy Garach, bid on Martin for her daughter and won. The two married in 2008 in Roaring Spring, Pa.
"The Curve hold a very special place in my heart," Martin said. "Little did I know that game would change my life forever."
Martin resides in Roaring Spring with Abby and their three children (Rory, five years old, Hudson, three years old and Molly, six months old). Martin is also a member of the Jaffa Shrine, Ambucs, Blair County Chamber of Commerce Small Business Committee, Roaring Spring Church of the Brethren, Blair County Builders Association, the Garver Memorial YMCA board and served as the Morrisons Cove Rotary President (2015-16).
"I would like to thank the supporters of the Altoona Curve," Martin said. "The sponsors, season ticket holders and the fans. Without you, this organization would not be what it is today. Thank you for your support over the first 18 years and I look forward to the next 18."
Martin replaces Rob Egan, who spent 14 total seasons with the Curve, including the last nine as the team's general manager. Egan accepted a position as the general manager of baseball operations for the Charlotte Knights, Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox.
"I have some big shoes to fill, taking over for Rob Egan," Martin said. "We wish Rob and his family the best in Charlotte but I am excited for the new challenge. My goal for the Curve is not just to keep the status quo. My goal is to improve the Curve organization every day."