A Wet But Peaceful Night In Altoona

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Editor’s note: unlike my other blog posts, this is not my typical stadium review of PNG Field in Altoona. For those who want a more in depth article on PNG Field and the Altoona Curve, please click here to read about my visit in 2015.

“The day is cold, and dark, and dreary; It rains, and the wind is never weary.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Two words come to mind during this weekend’s Eastern League playoff game between the Akron Rubber Ducks and the Altoona Curve: rain, and rain. While the rain didn’t damper the sprits of the “official” attendance of 2,898, it certainly affected the play, and did keep many fans home. Which is a shame, because on the brink of elimination the night before, the Curve were down 5-0 and roared back to an 8-5 win to set up this game. With threatening skies even before the first pitch, and constant rain starting in the third inning, the crowd was taken out of the equation early. Without getting into the play by play, the Ducks came away with a 9-0 on the road to advance to the Eastern League Championships, where they will face the Fisher Cats.

I was hoping for a championship atmosphere, but it just wasn’t meant to be. That’s no fault of the Curve. It was just the weather. If you read my previous write up on the Curve, they have a class organization! The Ducks Sean Brady scattered seven hits through seven innings, while the Curve pitching struggled the entire night.

Like most of the fans, I took cover early on when the rains got to be too much. There were still a very vocal few that remained, while most of us enjoyed the game from the concourse. I did venture down again to take some additional photos, but without any protective gear for my Kodak Brownie, I didn’t want to be in the rain too much. So, without too much commentary, here’s a pictoral summary of the day. Hopefully some of them will give you an idea of the playing conditions.

I love boards like these!

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I guess this means I’m ready for my call up!
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It wouldn’t be a blog post without at least one food photo! This trip I sampled the habanero burger!
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Akron starting pitcher Sean Brady.
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Tools of the trade.
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Getting a good look from the on deck circle.
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Turning two.
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Pickoff attempt.
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Ducks Andrew Calica touching them all.
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Home plate umpire Takahito Matsuda signaling it’s the second mound visit for the Curve.
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I saw a few of these, and thought the gun might be a bit off.
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And this came to mind!

At least Loco didn’t mind the rain!
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Making a quick U turn back to first.
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Getting turned inside out on an inside pitch.
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The next few photos I tried to capture what the playing conditions were like.
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At then end of every half inning, the grounds crew headed out to try to improve the field. What a thankless job!! They did awesome work!

An out at second in sloppy conditions.
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A view from the concourse.
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I needed some cover for my head!
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Even ended up with a free souvenir!
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Post game, even in the rain, the Curve players took time to stand in the mud to chat with the fans!
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Wrap up

Carl Sandburg wrote:

The monotone of the rain is beautiful, 
And the sudden rise and slow relapse 
Of the long multitudinous rain. 

The sun on the hills is beautiful, 
Or a captured sunset sea-flung, 
Bannered with fire and gold. 

A face I know is beautiful– 
With fire and gold of sky and sea, 
And the peace of long warm rain.

There was something peaceful at PNG Field last night. With the rain. In time, the Curve will overcome their long night and loss. And await another season of baseball. Good luck to the Akron RubberDucks in the Eastern League finals. It has been a great season!

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