ALTOONA -- While all other Minor League Baseball teams will attempt to be at their best on Monday night, the front office of the Altoona Curve will once again be aiming for a much more unique goal -- to be as awful as possible.
Indeed, the Curve, the Double-A Eastern League affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates will hold the third edition of their nationally-acclaimed "Awful Night", when they host the Binghamton Mets Monday night at 7:05 p.m. ET at Blair County Ballpark in Altoona.
As has become the standard with the two previous installments of "Awful Night", fans can expect to notice the theme of the night when they first enter the ballpark, as they will be greeted by a truly "awful" giveaway. The first 1,000 fans through the gates, which open to the public at 6 p.m., will receive an "awful" noisemaker, consisting of a souvenir plastic cup with duct tape covering the top and a penny inside the cup. Previous Awful Night giveaways have featured bubble wrap and bottomless cups.
Other highlights of "Awful Night" at Blair County Ballpark will include:
Clips from Ben Affleck movies
Awful Music from artists such as Mr. T, David Hasselhoff and William Shatner
An awful post-game video board fireworks display
A look at the "Five Most Awful Moments in Sports" since last year
Awful between-inning contests such as "Helium Balloon Toss", "One-Person Hamster Ball Race" and "Dry Water Slide Contest"
Non-celebrity autograph sessions
Display of awful foods, such as peanut butter & jelly sandwiches with red onions, chicken livers, sardines and stale crackers, pickled pigs feet and liver and onions with Brussels sprouts. Also, fans will be able to purchase spam and cheese sandwiches for $2 and Tang for $1
In addition, one unlucky grand prize winner will receive two tickets an independent minor league game of their choice.
"Awful Night has become a staple event at Blair County Ballpark and one that our fans have really come to love and embrace," said Curve General Manager Todd Parnell. "Believe it or not, it's really hard to come up with new ways to be awful for a night and hopefully we'll do as bad of a job as possible."
As has been the standing goal of the first two Awful Nights, the Curve is hoping to keep the awfulness outside of the white lines, and the club has had mixed results during the first two years. In 2003, Curve pitcher Sean Burnett was far from awful in leading the Curve to a 5-2 victory over the Akron Aeros. Last season, however, the Curve found an awful way to lose, giving up five runs in the top of the ninth inning in an 8-5 loss to Akron.
"That's the goal... keeping the awfulness outside of the field of play," said Parnell.