ALTOONA – Adam Hyzdu, the only player in team history to have his number retired, Tike Redman and Jack Wilson will all be a part of the Curve, Pa. Alumni team for the Heroes Softball Game on July 15 as a part of the Eastern League All-Star Stop presented by UPMC Health Plan, the Curve announced today. The three past Curve players will be joined on the team by former MLB pitcher Mike Johnston and former Curve catcher Chris Snusz.
Hyzdu won the hearts of Curve fans in the team’s inaugural season in 1999. The right handed outfielder was named the Curve team MVP after he collected a .316 average and smashed 24 home runs before a late-season call-up to Triple A, seemingly ending his time with the Curve.
Fortunately for fans, Hyzdu returned to Altoona the following year and continued to dominate the league; winning the team MVP and Eastern League MVP after playing a full season and belting 31 home runs with a .290 average. On September 4, after the final Curve game of the 2000 season, Hyzdu’s No. 16 jersey was retired and to this day remains the only number retired by the Curve organization.
Today, Hyzdu still holds the single-season franchise records in a host of offensive categories. Hyzdu leads the franchise in home runs (31), RBI (106), games played (142), runs (96), extra-base hits (72), and slugging percentage (.612).
Redman, Hyzdu’s teammate in 1999, will also be making a much anticipated return to Altoona. The quick-footed center fielder played 136 games with Altoona in its inaugural season while collecting a team-high 84 runs. Redman played one season with the Curve but made it to The Show midway through the 2000 season with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Redman eventually became an everyday outfielder for the Buccos in August 2003 and played full seasons in Pittsburgh in 2004 and 2005. He also played in 40 games for the Baltimore Orioles in 2007.
Though he only played 33 games with the Curve in 2000, Wilson became a part of the rich history of the franchise that now enters its 16th season. After being traded midway through the 2000 season to Pittsburgh from St. Louis, Wilson went on to have a fine career in the major leagues beginning in 2001 with the Pirates. In 2004, he was named to the National League All-Star Team and won the National League Silver Slugger award after leading all shortstops in the league with a .308 batting average and a league-best 12 triples.
Wilson was also one of the best defensive players to ever play the game thanks to a career fielding percentage of .978 in 1,325 games.
Johnston, a Lansdowne, Pa. native, pitched for Altoona in 2003 as one of the most reliable pitchers in the bullpen. Johnston went 6-2 with a 2.12 ERA and seven saves in 46 games with the team. The southpaw pitched 25 games during his big league career with the Buccos and struck out notable sluggers like Adam Dunn, Albert Pujols, and Pat Burrell.
Snusz was a catcher for part of three seasons with the Curve from 2003 to 2005. The former Mercyhurst Laker played 302 total games as a catcher in his minor league career after being drafted by the Phillies in 1995. Today, Snusz is still involved with baseball and is current Director of East Coast Grays Baseball, an organization that helps athletes gain exposure to professional scouts and college programs by attending showcase events. Alumni of Snusz’ program include Mets pitcher and All-Star Matt Harvey.
"Four former Major Leaguers and a guy who now gets other players to the show...not a bad roster so far," said Curve General Manager Rob Egan. "The Heroes Game is going to be a highlight of the All-Star Stop and fans won't want to miss seeing this great group of Curve alumni against the inspiring Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team."
The Curve, Pa. Heroes Game will start the series of events over two days in Curve, Pa. and feature the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team (WWAST) playing a softball game versus the Curve, Pa. Alumni Squad. The WWAST is made up of young, competitive, athletic veterans and active duty soldiers who lost limbs post-9/11 while serving their country in the military and in the war on terrorism.
--Altoona Curve Media Relations