Hampton to honor Pirates manager, township resident Hurdle
Mark your calendars, Pittsburgh Pirates fans.
Opening day for the team's 2014 season also is Clint Hurdle Day in Hampton.
In January, Hampton Council voted to set aside March 31 to honor the Pirates' manager and one of the municipality's well known residents.
“Clint has been an excellent manager and a source of pride for Hampton,” said Vic Son, president of Hampton Council. “It was only natural, based on the newfound success of the Pirates, that we honor him.”
The 2013 National League Manager of the Year lives in a house constructed by Hampton builder Dave Nicklas.
“The most endearing facet of Hampton for us is the home that we live in,” said Hurdle, 56.
“We have a beautiful home against property. It's quiet, and we have a fantastic neighborhood at the end of a cul-de-sac, and some great neighbors.
“And I've got a couple go-to Starbucks that keep me happy in the morning,” said “The Captain,” as Hurdle calls himself in his group text messages.
Hurdle also listed Target as one of his family's favorite go-to places.
“That's where we meet the friends, the families, and the fans,” he said.
Last fall, township Manager Chris Lochner helped to install special Ibis Tek-made metal signs on the Hurdles' street during the Pirates' 2013 playoff games.
“Welcome Home Captain — Full Speed Ahead,” read one of the signs.
The other sign borrowed a Hurdle quote: “It's Only the Beginning, Captain. We Ain't Done Yet.”
“That was just special,” said Karla Hurdle, 46, the manager's wife. “One night we came home. It was late. ... We were like, ‘Oh my gosh!' There were these Jolly Roger flags on these huge metal signs.”
Lochner plans to decorate Hampton Community Center with Jolly Roger flags on March 31 to help mark Clint Hurdle Day in Hampton.
“He's a really down-to-earth person. He seems to be quite a family guy. His wife is a very nice person,” Lochner said.
“We appreciate him being here, and that they selected Hampton. We're proud and pleased that they did.”
Clint and Karla Hurdle met when he managed a minor league team for the New York Mets in Williamsport, Lycoming County, near her hometown of Muncy.
“They're great people,” said Nicklas, the Hampton builder. “It's an enjoyment to have them in the municipality. Hopefully they'll be here for a long time, and have many successful seasons.”
The Hurdles also own a house in Holmes Beach, Manatee County, Fla., where they relocate — with their children — for the Pirates' spring training season.
Karla Hurdle praised Hampton School District administrators for cooperating with the Hurdles' decision to annually withdraw daughter Madison, 11, and son Christian, 9, from their Hampton classrooms to attend Florida public schools during January, February and March.
“We have a special needs child, and they've really kind of bent over backward to accommodate what we think our needs are, and what they think her needs are, at the same time,” Karla Hurdle said about the district's teachers and administrators. “They have done everything we've requested on different levels.”
Clint Hurdle's has another daughter from a previous marriage, Ashley Hurdle, 28, of San Francisco.
Clint and Karla Hurdle both listed the Tuscan Inn on Wildwood Road as their favorite local eatery.
“We frequent there,” Karla Hurdle said. “We love our waitress, Theresa (Heck).”
The Hurdles also enjoy eating at Atria's in Richland, but they wish for more choices in local restaurants.
“I always kid with Chris Lochner” Karla Hurdle said. “Can we try and to get some eating establishments, so people can stay in Hampton, rather than drive to Cranberry or Downtown?”
Deborah Deasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6369 or firstname.lastname@example.org.