Altoona will be a “part of the neighborhood” on July 5 as the Curve, the Pirates’ AA affiliate, plans to celebrate the legendary Mr. Rogers by wearing special jerseys that are detailed to look like the now infamous cardigan and necktie.
The Curve will honor Rogers’ lifelong work by conducting “A Night in the Neighborhood” that will benefit the American Rescue Workers, as attendees are encouraged to donate new or gently-worn sweaters and other clothing. Bins to collect the items will be placed in People Natural Gas Field on game day.
— Altoona Curve (@AltoonaCurve) June 11, 2015
Paying further tribute to everyone’s special friend, WPSU will hand out 500 books to children at the game and will also sponsor a prize pack for one lucky child that will contain Daniel Tiger merchandise.
Fred Rogers, born and raised in Latrobe, spent many years of his career in Western Pennsylvania. Although his tenure in television started at NBC studios in New York City in 1951, Rogers ultimately returned to his roots and pursued a job with WQED, a public television station in Pittsburgh, as a puppeteer for a children’s show after growing disillusioned with NBC’s attitude toward children’s television.
Although Rogers studied theology at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary on evenings and during lunch breaks and intended to become a minister (he was ordained in the Presbyterian Church in 1963), his true passion was educational programming for children and he worked to develop, write, or produce more than 100 television shows, books, and musicals for youngsters.
Best known for his show “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” Rogers released nearly 900 episodes during the show’s run from 1968-2001. The program earned him many awards and honors, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, induction into the Television Hall of Fame, four Emmys, the Lifetime Achievement Award during the Daytime Emmys, and several monuments and memorials in Western Pennsylvania.
Rogers sadly passed away in 2003 from stomach cancer, although his legacy lives on in the work that he did and that his firm, the Pittsburgh-based production company, The Fred Rogers Company, continues.
Since the finale in 2001, PBS has released a new version of the beloved show called “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” that takes place in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe. Although the animation is produced in Canada, the live-action shots are filmed in Pittsburgh. The titular character is the son of Mr. Rogers’ sidekick, Daniel the Striped Tiger. Children of other residents of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe make appearances as well.
The spin-off of the beloved program will also be featured and promoted during the baseball game.
It will be a beautiful day in Altoona as Daniel Tiger himself is at the field to celebrate not only his own show, but also the legendary legacy of a very special friend, Fred Rogers.
The game will start at 6:00 p.m. on July 5.
Photo Credit: Altoona Curve Twitter