CURVE, Pa. - The Altoona Curve have been nominated by the Eastern League of Professional Baseball for the Charles K. Murphy Patriot Award, the league announced on Wednesday morning.
The Charles K. Murphy Patriot Award is presented to a club or individual employed by a club for outstanding support of and engagement with the United States Armed Forces and veterans, both at the ballpark and in the community.
"We are thankful for the sacrifices made by those who serve and have served our country in the armed forces," Curve General Manager Derek Martin said. "As an organization, we strive to recognize their service and give back to these members of our community, as they are the true heroes. We would not be able to do everything we are fortunate enough to do without the sacrifices made by these men and women and their families."
Throughout the franchise's history, the Curve have made recognizing and appreciating active members and veterans of the military a top priority. In 2013, the Curve unveiled a statue near the main gate of Peoples Natural Gas Field to honor and recognize the "Children of Pennsylvania's Fallen Warriors."
The statue depicts two children climbing a hill with an American flag and it has become a place where the children of fallen military members remember their parents and family members. As a follow up to the project, an education foundation was created that benefits children of fallen service members in Central Pennsylvania.
In 2014, the Curve dedicated a seat in the Toyota Diamond Club seating behind home plate to those American soldiers that are unaccounted for with a POW/MIA seat, which is painted black and affixed with the POW/MIA decals.
Along with these dedications at the ballpark, the Curve work to support active military and veterans with ticket discounts and in-game recognition. In recent years, the Curve have honored the Martin's Hero of the Game with an on-field ceremony during each of the team's 70 home games to recognize an active service member or veteran.
"The Hero of the Game ceremony is always one of the more memorable moments during a game at our ballpark," Martin said. "The active military members and veterans are greeted with a nightly standing ovation from our fans and staff, and it is our hope that these men and women truly feel the gratitude our organization and community have for their service."
For the 2018 season in partnership with the Altoona Mirror, the Curve players wore digital camouflage-style jerseys for every Wednesday home game, and those jerseys were auctioned at the end of the season with proceeds benefiting Sweat for Vets.
This past season, Curve Chief Operating Officer David Lozinak was recognized by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States as a Patriot's Circle member "for faithful support of America's deserving veterans and their families."
The nominees for the Charles K. Murphy Patriot Award were selected from leagues throughout the minors. The winner will be selected by Minor League Baseball and will be honored at the Baseball Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada this December.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.