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Altoona Curve

Eastern League no more: Curve’s league gets new name, so what about team’s song?

Update: 5 p.m.

The Curve song will live on!

Despite the team no longer playing in what has always been called the Eastern League, the franchise’s popular song “Everybody Loves Curve Baseball” will remain part of the ballpark experience.

“The Curve song isn’t going anywhere,” general manager Derek Martin said Friday.

One of the key lyrics in the song is “Double-A Eastern League baseball.”

But with no Eastern League …

Martin said the team has some options, including just continuing to play the song as is with what he called “retro” lyrics. The Curve also could reach out to the singers, the Jendruch family from Slovakia, to do an update.

There are a lot more important issues to deal with in minor league baseball, and the Curve have a lot of things to work on between now and the start of the season.

Still, I heard from a number of people today wondering about the famous Curve song after the Eastern League name change.

We know you’ll agree, just about everyone will be happy that the song will be sticking around.


ORIGINAL STORY

There officially is no more Eastern League, but the Altoona Curve will still be playing the same teams — and grouped in the same division that they already had been — albeit in a new circuit called the Double-A Northeast League.

Major League Baseball announced today that all 120 teams invited to take part in the reshuffling of the minor leagues have accepted the invitation. With MLB taking over the minors, all leagues have now been rebranded with names of their geographic locations.

**Triple-A East and West

**Double-A Central, Northeast and South

**High-A Central, East, West

**Low-A East, Southeast, West

As it pertains to the Curve, the teams in the Double-A Northeast are all the same teams that were previously in the Eastern League. The Yankees had already switched their Double-A affiliate from Trenton to Somerset, N.J., so that is the only new city in the rebranded Northeast League.

Furthermore, the Curve will be playing all the same teams in their division, which is now called the Southwest Division. Yes, that’s right, the Curve are in the Northeast League, Southwest Division, along with Akron, Erie, Harrisburg, Bowie and Richmond.

On a lighter note, there is one question pertaining to the wildly popular “Everybody Loves Curve Baseball” song that has been a staple at the ballpark for two decades. What will the Curve do with the song, which includes these lyrics?:

Baseball

Everybody Loves Curve Baseball

Double-A Eastern League Baseball

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We are efforting to find out from Curve officials what may come of the song, which was written by team owner Bob Lozinak.

Here’s an excerpt of a story I wrote for the Altoona Mirror about the song’s origin during the Curve’s 20th season:

Hear the song just once or twice, and it gets stuck in your head. It’s catchy, to say the least, and very well could be the best theme song in all of minor league baseball.

We know you’ll agree.

What’s most fascinating, though, about the song “Everybody Loves Curve Baseball” is how much of a recognizable staple it has been at the Lakemont ballpark for going on two decades now.

The Curve song, as it’s commonly referred to, gets played multiple times during each home game — after every run scored by the club, plus at the end of the game if the team wins — and it’s been that way for most of the franchise’s existence. Add them all up, and “Everybody Loves Curve Baseball” has probably been played about 3,000 times since debuting during the 2000 season.

The song’s longevity and enduring popularity are remarkable to the people who originally recorded it — a family band from Slovakia — none of whom had any idea about how big their little ditty still is to this day in Altoona.

“I think that’s amazing, that somebody in Slovakia has any chance to have their song in the United States for so many years,” Maria Jendruchova said during a visit to town this week.

Maria is one of nine siblings who made up the Jendruch family band, which performed together for more than 20 years before breaking up six years ago. The six girls and three boys performed across Europe and made occasional trips to the United States, as well.

The Jendruchs were performing in Altoona in 1999 when they first caught the attention of Curve owner Bob Lozinak. He saw that the group from Slovakia would be singing at the Cathedral, so he decided to attend.

Lozinak also got some CDs of the Jendruchs singing, and one day the following year, he was driving around Altoona along with Sal Baglieri, the Curve’s first general manager and a minority owner in the club.

“I was playing one of their CDs, and there was a song on there called ‘Vrecko,’” Lozinak recalled. “Sal is listening to this and likes the tune. He said, ‘Bob, you should write some words to that, and we can use that as a pep song for the ballclub.’

“So, it took me a month. How am I going to take this melody and come up with words that are going to match?”

These opening lines to the Curve song are the ones that have been played ever so frequently during games over the years:

Baseball

Everybody loves Curve baseball

Double-A Eastern League baseball

We know you’ll agree

“The Curve song is timeless,” general manager Derek Martin said. “It is one of those melodies that every fan can remember and recite with pride. The song speaks the truth of our organization and fans. Everybody truly does love Curve baseball.”

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Written By

Cory Giger is a 15-year veteran of the Penn State beat and a journalist with 28 years of experience. He has won more than 100 state and national journalism awards during his career, plus he's a voter for the Heisman Trophy in football and Wooden Award in basketball.

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