Founded in 2009
|Minor league affiliations|
|League||Pacific Coast League|
|Major league affiliations|
|Minor league titles|
|Class titles (2)||
|League titles (2)||
|Conference titles (3)||
|Division titles (5)||
|Nickname||Reno Aces (2009–present)|
|Colors||Navy blue, white, red
|Ballpark||Greater Nevada Field
|Tucson Electric Park
|SK Baseball, LLC|
|General Manager||Emily Jaenson|
The Reno Aces are a Minor League Baseball franchise in the western United States, based in Reno, Nevada. The team is a member of the Pacific Coast League and is the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The franchise is owned by SK Baseball, LLC and is a part of the PCL Pacific Conference's North Division along with the Tacoma Rainiers, Sacramento River Cats, and Fresno Grizzlies. The Aces began their inaugural season in 2009 on the road on April 10, and played their home opener in the new Greater Nevada Field on April 17.
The Aces were originally known as the Tucson Sidewinders from 1998 to 2008. Before that, the team was first known as the Tucson Toros. They were Tucson's Triple-A baseball club, playing at Hi Corbett Field in midtown Tucson from 1969 to 1997. Part of the old 10-team configuration of the Pacific Coast League, the Toros won the PCL Championship in 1991 and 1993. The Toros were preceded by a number of other Tucson teams between 1915 and 1958, such as the Tucson Cowboys and the Tucson Lizards.
After the MLB expansion that added the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix and Tampa Bay Devil Rays, the Toros moved to Fresno, California, as the Fresno Grizzlies. The Phoenix Firebirds relocated to Tucson, briefly became the Tucson Toros (1997), and then became the Sidewinders (1998), the Triple-A affiliate of the new Diamondbacks. This was accomplished by what amounted to a "swap" in ownership in 1997, with Firebirds owner Martin Stone purchasing the Toros and Toros owner Rick Holtzman receiving interest in the Firebirds. The Tucson team retained management and staff primarily from the Toros, and traces its history from the Toros rather than the Firebirds.
The Sidewinders had humbling beginnings, as was five years before they enjoyed their first winning regular season. They dominated the 2006 season, with the PCL's best record in the regular season and won the Pacific Coast League and National Championships in the post season.
The Phoenix Firebirds had played from 1958 through 1997 as an affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. The franchise joined the Pacific Coast League as a charter member in 1903 as the San Francisco Seals, relocating to Phoenix in 1958 when the major league New York Giants moved to San Francisco. Seals alumni include Joe DiMaggio.
The Tucson Toros have been affiliated with the Chicago White Sox (1969–1972), the Oakland Athletics (1973–1976), the Texas Rangers (1977–1979), the Houston Astros (1980–1996), and the Milwaukee Brewers (1997 only, with one Diamondbacks prospect, Travis Lee, playing with them by special arrangement). At the time of the change in venue and affiliations (1998), a new Tucson team name, the "Sidewinders" was chosen after a name the team contest was held.
The Toros became a member of the independent Golden Baseball League, adopting their previous Triple-A history from 1969 to 1997. The Aces adopted the Sidewinders' history from 1998–2008 before the franchise was moved to Reno. The Toros folded in 2011 after the AAA Portland Beavers moved to town to become the Tucson Padres. The Padres would move again in 2014, this time to Texas to become the El Paso Chihuahuas.
A new era – Reno Aces
In late 2007, it was formally announced that the Sidewinders would be moving to Reno, Nevada, after the 2008 season. A new 9,100-capacity venue, Greater Nevada Field, was constructed for the team in downtown Reno.
The move forced the Reno Silver Sox of the independent Golden Baseball League to fold. The franchise dropped the name "Sidewinders" in place of a new identity. Some fans suggested that the team should adopt or purchase the rights to the Silver Sox name from the GBL for the new PCL club, but that was ruled out as that team was, at that point (prior to folding), likely to relocate to Carson City, Nevada. The Reno Aces introduced their new team name and logo at a press conference on September 23, 2008. The nickname has a dual meaning: "ace" is a baseball slang term for a team's top pitcher, and the ace is the highest card in several card games (a reference to Nevada's legalized gambling history).
The Reno Aces were due to begin their inaugural season in 2009 on the road against the Salt Lake Bees on Thursday, April 9. However, the game was postponed due to the death of Los Angeles Angels' Nick Adenhart (a Salt Lake alumnus), who was killed by a hit-and-run driver earlier in the day. Adenhart had played for the Bees during the 2008 season, and was remembered the next day in what was originally the second game in a four-game series between the Aces and the Bees. The Bees beat the Aces 6–2 on Friday, April 10. The Aces won their home opener at Greater Nevada Field on Friday, April 17, 11–1 against the Salt Lake Bees, to an over-capacity sell-out crowd of 9,167.
The Aces made the playoffs for the first time in 2011, but lost the fifth and deciding game in the first round to the Sacramento River Cats. The Aces made it back to the post-season the following year in 2012, defeated Sacramento in five games, and the Omaha Storm Chasers in four to win the PCL title. Reno then won the Triple-A National Championship Game, defeating the Pawtucket Red Sox 10–3 at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in North Carolina.
The Reno Aces hosted the Triple-A All-Star Game on July 17, 2013.
- Trevor Bauer, pitcher
- Patrick Corbin, pitcher
- Adam Eaton, outfielder
- Ender Inciarte, outfielder
- Jake Lamb, third baseman
- Wade Miley, pitcher
- Chris Owings, shortstop, second baseman
- A. J. Pollock, outfielder
- Brett Butler, manager
|2009||PCL Pacific-South||Arizona||79–64||.552||7||Division: 2/4, League: 3/16||—|
|2010||PCL Pacific-South||Arizona||69–74||.483||9.5||Division: 3/4, League: 11/16||—|
|2011||PCL Pacific-North||Arizona||77–67||.535||—||Division: 1/4, League: 4/16||Lost PCCS vs. Sacramento River Cats, 2–3|
|2012||PCL Pacific-North||Arizona||81–63||.563||—||Division: 1/4, League: 3/16||Won PCCS vs. Sacramento River Cats, 3–2
Won PCLS vs. Omaha Storm Chasers, 3–1
Won Triple-A Championship vs. Pawtucket Red Sox
|2013||PCL Pacific-North||Arizona||60–84||.417||18.0||Division: 4/4, League: 15/16||—|
|2014||PCL Pacific-North||Arizona||81–63||.563||—||Division: 1/4, League: 1/16 (tie)||Won PCCS vs. Las Vegas 51s, 3–1
Lost PCLS vs. Omaha Storm Chasers, 2–3
|2015||PCL Pacific-North||Arizona||70–74||.486||14.5||Division: 3/4, League: 10/16||—|
|2016||PCL Pacific-North||Arizona||76–68||.528||5.5||Division: 2/4, League: 4/16||—|
|2017||PCL Pacific-North||Arizona||80–62||.563||—||Division: 1/4, League: 3/16||Lost PCCS vs. El Paso Chihuahuas, 0-3|
Reno Aces roster
7-day disabled list
- Reno's "Triple-A baseball team to be called Aces."[dead link] (Reno Gazette-Journal, September 23, 2008)
- "Aces trumped in opener" (Reno Gazette-Journal, April 11, 2009)
- "Team History." Tucson Sidewinders. 2006. Retrieved on 9 April 2007. Archived August 26, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
- Brodesky, Josh. "Toros could return in new incarnation." The Arizona Daily Star. 11 November 2007. 26 December 2007. Archived December 25, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Silver Sox could be headed down the highway." (Reno Gazette-Journal, September 16, 2008)
- "Triple-A team gets a name." (Reno Gazette-Journal, September 16, 2008)
- "Aces win the home opener big, 11–1"[dead link] (Reno Gazette-Journal, April 17, 2009)