The Altoona Curve, Double-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, play in a part of the country with a distinctive mode of speech—a place where rubber bands are “gum bands,” icy roads are described as “slippy,” and something that must be accomplished “needs done.”
Perhaps western Pennsylvania’s most important contribution to the world of weird regionalisms is the way they pluralize “you”—with a succinct “yinz.” To that end, the Curve will rebrand for seven games during the 2019 season as the Allegheny Yinzers.
The geographic locator is a reference to the Allegheny Mountains, where Altoona is situated. (The team is named for the hairpin turn the Norfolk Southern Railroad takes on Allegheny Ridge.) As for “Yinzers,” the inspiration came from a broadcast of a Pittsburgh Stillers—er, Steelers—game:
“One of the trends in Minor League Baseball over the last few years have been changing team names or rebranding for a period of time that ties into the market,” said Curve General Manager Derek Martin, quoted on MiLB.com. “Most teams have changed their names to food items and I wanted to be different.
“When I was watching the Steelers game the day after the tragic shooting in Pittsburgh, Bill Cowher talked on the CBS broadcast about how Pittsburgh is a tough community and everyone would come together because we are ‘Yinzer Nation.’ After about the tenth time that Cowher said ‘Yinzer,’ I knew we needed to do something revolving around Yinzers.”
Presuming this promotion is successful, we’ll be keeping an eye out for the Gwinnett Y’alls, the Lehigh Valley You Guys, and the Staten Island Youses in the near future.
The first Yinzers game will take place April 13, and the jerseys will be auctioned off after the final appearance on August 8.