CURVE, Pa. - Former pitcher and longtime Pittsburgh Pirates broadcaster Steve Blass is scheduled to make an appearance at Peoples Natural Gas Field on Thursday, April 11 when the Altoona Curve play their first home game of the season against the Akron RubberDucks, the team announced on Friday.
The 2019 season will be the 60th and final year for Blass, 76, as a member of the Pirates organization. He signed with the Bucs at age 18 in 1960 and rose through the system to make his MLB debut on May 10, 1964. Blass pitched a total of 10 major-league seasons with a record of 103-76.
Blass pitched two complete games during the 1971 World Series against Baltimore, including a decisive Game Seven victory to lift Pittsburgh to the club's fourth championship. He finished second in the World Series MVP voting to Roberto Clemente and remains the last National League pitcher to toss a complete game in the seventh game of the World Series.
Monday's home opener at PNC Park will open Blass' 34th season in the Pirates broadcast booth, making him the longest-tenured broadcaster in the history of the Curve's major-league affiliate.
"Steve's longevity with the Pirates speaks volumes about the family that the organization truly is," said Curve general manager Derek Martin. "It is a big deal for our fans in Altoona to give him the sendoff and thank you he deserves."
Blass will toss out a ceremonial first pitch prior to the Curve's home opener and will hold a meet and greet with fans after the start of the ballgame at 6 p.m. He will meet with fans until 7 p.m. before he joins Curve play-by-play broadcasters Garett Mansfield and Michael Marcantonini on the US. Foods Curve Radio Network.
"While the players may change from year to year, the broadcasters provide a constant voice throughout all of that turnover," said Mansfield. "Steve's presence through the decades has given Pittsburgh a constant voice for their Pirates. There will always be room in the Altoona booth for Steve Blass."
In addition to Blass' appearance on Opening Night, the Curve will take the field on Saturday, April 13 as the Allegheny Yinzers with a few more members of the Pirates family on hand. The Pirates Pierogies will meet with fans during the contest and race around the infield after the top of the fifth inning for the Mama Randazzo's Meatball Race.
The 21st season of Altoona Curve Baseball opens with a seven-game road trip beginning on Thursday, April 4 against the Akron RubberDucks. Single-game tickets for Curve home games are on sale now at the PNG Field box office, over the phone at 877.99.CURVE or online at AltoonaCurve.com. The Stockyard team store is also open during business hours and 24/7/365 at AltoonaCurve.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.