PRESS RELEASE – The Altoona Curve are pleased to announce two additions to their front office staff. Brian Soukup has been named Head Groundskeeper, while Altoona native Bill Bettwy joins the organization as Director of Mascot and Brand Development. The announcement was made by General Manager Rob Egan.
Soukup, an Ohio native, takes over for Derek Morton, who assumed the position of Assistant Groundskeeper for the Baltimore Orioles’ spring training complex in Sarasota, Florida.
Soukoup’s most recent assignment was as an Assistant Groundskeeper for the Chicago White Sox, helping maintain the team’s spring training complex in Glendale, Arizona. While in Arizona, he worked under the tutelage of the Curve’s original head groundskeeper, Justin Spillman, who directs the White Sox’ field maintenance there. Soukup has also held the same role with the Charleston RiverDogs (A – New York Yankees) of the South Atlantic League.
A graduate of Bowling Green State University with a degree in sport management and minor in general business, Soukup also has previous experience on crews as an intern with the Akron Aeros, Albuquerque Isotopes and Philadelphia Phillies.
“With Brian, we’re extremely pleased to add an enthusiastic individual who brings a great deal of experience and is more than capable of maintaining the beautiful playing surface at Blair County Ballpark,” said Egan.
Bettwy is no stranger to the Altoona region or the Altoona Curve organization. The man who donned the mascot suit and portrayed the original Steamer in 1999 will be the team’s Director of Mascot and Brand Development. In his role, Bettwy will be contributing to the overall atmosphere and entertainment experience at Blair County Ballpark. He will be working with all mascots to ensure skits and interaction with fans are fresh and creative. Additionally, Bettwy will be involved in the overall branding and marketing of the Curve and their new image as the team prepares for another decade of baseball. A professional cartoonist, Bettwy’s work has become widely popular and recognizable, with previous work including editorial cartoons for the Altoona Mirror and the Philadelphia Daily News. His talents and artistic ability will become apparent to fans in a variety of forms and mediums in 2010 and beyond.
“Bill is a tremendously talented and creative individual,” said Egan. “As we constantly try to remain fresh and at the forefront of baseball entertainment, adding an employee with the skill set of Bill Bettwy is a coup for us.”
The Altoona Curve will begin their 12th season in the Eastern League when they open their 2010 season at Blair County Ballpark on Thursday, April 8 at 6:30 p.m. against the Harrisburg Senators (AA – Washington Nationals). Fans can lock up the best seats for the first season of the new decade with a full or partial season ticket plan, a 10-game McDonald’s Flex Book or the newly created, five-game Chicken Ticket Plan, which contains tickets for five premier dates at BCB this season, including an appearance by the Famous San Diego Chicken, presented by Tyrone Milling, on Friday, April 9. More information can be obtained by logging on to AltoonaCurve.com, or by personally contacting an Altoona Curve ticketing associate at 877-99-CURVE (toll-free) or in person at the Blair County Ballpark front office during normal business hours.