Players to watch during opening series vs. El Paso

Opening Day is finally here, and it’s time to play baseball. The El Paso Chihuahuas are in town for four games starting today for their first series in the Pacific Coast League. The Chihuahuas feature a mix of prospects and former major league talent, and here’s three names to keep an eye on during this series:

 

1. OF Jeff Francoeur has 1,227 major league games under his belt, with time spent with Atlanta, the New York Mets, Texas, Kansas City and San Francisco. Francoeur is a career .284 hitter in the minor leagues with 53 home runs and 226 RBI in 369 games. This is his first season in the Padres’ organization.

 

2. RHP Burch Smith enters the season as San Diego’s No. 8 prospect according to Baseball America, the highest-rated prospect on El Paso’s roster. Smith went 5-1 with a 3.39 ERA with Triple-A Tucson last season and made his major league debut for San Diego on May 11. Smith will face the Diamondbacks’ top prospect Archie Bradley on Sunday afternoon.

 

3. OF Travis Buck is entering his second season with San Diego’s Triple-A affiliate after hitting .256 with five home runs and 26 RBI for Tucson last year. Buck first appeared in the majors in 2007 with the Oakland Athletics, and has racked up 253 career major league games with Oakland, Cleveland and Houston.

Reno Aces Cap Dance Finals

Cap DanceThe March Madness finals are Monday, but you don’t have to wait for the Reno Aces Cap Dance finals.

 

Two strong caps have advanced to the finals, with the top-seeded R-Spade taking on the cinderella BP 3930 Spade, who advanced to the finals after upsetting the our on-field cap and on-field alternate.

 

To vote for the R-Spade to take home the championship, click here: http://j.mp/NxwPSv. For the 3930 Spade, click here: http://j.mp/Ozxqnm.

 

Voting ends at midnight, so be sure to get your choice in before then, and check back tomorrow to see which cap will be available for 20 percent off during the first homestand.

3 days and counting

Photo by David Calvert/Reno Aces

Photo by David Calvert/Reno Aces

People always ask, “What’s it like working in baseball?” The answer is always the same: it’s AWESOME!

There is never a day that you wake up and wish you were doing something else. I’m not saying that everyday is just lollipops and rainbows. Sure, there are days that are a grind. The hours do tend to stack up like books on an overdue research paper, but the days that are tough are far outweighed by the days that I’m constantly laughing and having a great time.

This isn’t because we work in baseball, it’s because of the staff that makes up the support system for the product that you see on the field every night. That great 30 second on-field activity that seemed to pop up out of no where? Planned out for months by our expert promotions department. What about the killer giveaway item that sits in your office and reminds you of the time you went to the ballpark and caught the foul ball that you gave to your kid? Diligently planned and executed by our wonderful sponsorship department. And the seat that you sit in so often that it starts to feel just as comfortable as your favorite seat at home? Our phenomenal sales staff scoured the park and found the one seat that is “you.”

Just like the inner-workings of a family, each team member knows and executes his or her job to the very highest standard possible. But, all work and no play makes for a very long day, so we like to spice up the daily routine.

Each day it seems as if someone has made up a new game to make the day a little more awesome. It started with the “zinger of the week” (An award for the best joke of the week). That was shortly followed by one of my personal favorites, Beiber-ing. The rules of Beiber-ing are simple: when someone leaves their desk you have to go to their computer and change their home screen to a picture of Justin Beiber. If caught in the act, the beiber-er then owes the attempted Beiber-ee one dollar.

I could go on for hours and describing in great detail all of the shenanigans that take part in our daily routine but then people might get the idea that all we do is play games. While we do play lots of games and have way too much fun, there is an undertone of crucial seriousness. We are here to put on display the best event that Reno can offer and this does not come by accident. It is created through the collaborative efforts of a family that works through the nights, the rain delays, and the smoky haze that fills the air in late August.

This is your town, this is your team, and this is your home. We’re just here to make it a little more fun for you.

This is Aces baseball…It’s what we do!

-Niko Saladis

Niko Saladis is a ticket sales account executive for the Reno Aces, entering his second season in baseball and his first in Reno. Before joining the Aces, he interned for the Double-A Springfield Cardinals.

Top prospect highlights Reno Aces Opening Day roster

Reno, Nev.—With the regular season less than a week away, the Reno Aces Baseball Club announced its Opening Day roster today. It includes the Diamondbacks’ No. 1 prospect Archie Bradley and features a team-record nine members of Arizona’s 40-man roster.

Bradley was named the Southern League’s Most Outstanding Pitcher last season and is listed as the top pitching prospect in baseball by MLB.com.

Bradley will have the benefit of joining an experienced group of starters to form a strong rotation for the Aces. Bo Schultz, Charles Brewer and Mike Bolsinger will all return to Reno this season, with newcomer Alex Sanabia rounding out the group. Bradley (No. 1) and Schultz (No. 29) both rank among Arizona’s top 30 prospects according to Baseball America.

The bullpen is led by seven returners, two of which also rank among Arizona’s best prospects. Evan Marshall (No. 19) and Zeke Spruill (No. 16) are joined by Aces vets Eury De La Rosa, Derek Eitel, Kevin Munson, Joe Paterson and Mark Serrano. Jess Todd, entering his first season in the Diamondbacks’ organization, fills out the bullpen.

Behind the plate, Bobby Wilson and Blake Lalli will form the second half of the Aces’ battery to start the year. Both players are entering their first seasons with the Aces.

The infield is anchored by Didi Gregorious, who spent most of last season with the Diamondbacks, and returners Mike Jacobs and Tyler Bortnick, but also features three new faces that will make their Aces debut this season. Nick Ahmed, who is rated by Baseball America as Arizona’s No. 18 prospect, will play at the Triple-A level for the first time. Andy Marte and Nick Evans both boast major league and minor league experience and are entering their first season in Reno.

To round out the squad, this year’s outfield features an old face returning home in Trent Oeltjen, who was a part of Reno’s inaugural team in 2009. Alfredo Marte and Ender Inciarte, both members of Arizona’s 40-man roster, will join Oeltjen in the outfield, with Aaron Cunningham filling the final spot.

Outfielder Danny Dorn and RHP Cesar Carrillo will both start the year on Reno’s disabled list. Both players are in their first season in Arizona’s organization.

The Aces kick off the 2014 season at home on April 3 by hosting the El Paso Chihuahuas, the newest Pacific Coast League franchise. First pitch is slated for 6:35 p.m. Discounted full and partial season tickets are on sale now. For more information, and to purchase an Aces ticket plan, call (775) 334-4700. For up-to-date news and notes throughout the offseason, visit www.RenoAces.com, follow the club on Twitter (@aces) or like the team on Facebook.

5 days and counting

 

Photo by David Calvert/Reno Aces

Photo by David Calvert/Reno Aces

The ballpark is just about ready to go, players will be arriving soon, and Opening Day is just five days away. I guess I should get ready for the season!

This year, there’s so much more in store for fans than ever before. From what I hear, I’ll be a busy guy over the next five months, doing everything from visiting schools and little leagues to dancing on the dugouts and so much more. I can’t wait to show you all of the new things the Aces have planned for this season!

I should probably take a step back and introduce myself. You all know me, but as I’m making my editorial debut with the team, I should probably let you know who is writing this.

My name is Archie. You might call me the Round Mound of Red or the Sasquatch of the Sierra, but around the office, I’m simply known as Archie. This year, you might have to clarify which Archie you’re talking about, but I digress.

One of the coolest new things this year is the complete revamping of my Kids Club! For the first time ever, you can sign up for free and receive many cool benefits all season long. If you want even more perks though, we still have a paid option, which will give you a ticket to every Sunday home game, a pillow pet and much more. OH YEAH!

This season figures to be the most awesome season of Aceball yet. When you come down to Aces Ballpark this summer, be sure to come visit me. I can’t wait to see everybody!

-Archie

6 days and counting

acesOpeningDay_041709_DC_0079I love the energy of an empty ballpark before the fans file in. It hums—electric, anxious—there’s really so much going on, so much fans don’t see.

 

Before a normal game—after batting practice—the grounds crew rakes and waters the infield, maintenance wipes down rows of blue seats and concessionaires open the stands. Soon the smells of hot dogs and hamburgers, popcorn and cotton candy will mix with sunshine, cut grass and pine tar.acesOpeningDay_041709_DC_0157

 

Everyone is getting ready.

 

renoAces_v_sacramentoRiverCats_041213_00639Outside the clubhouse, players swing in the cages. In centerfield, Archie puts on his oversize shoes. And at the security gate, beer is delivered by the keg.

 

It’s exciting, it’s American. Especially on opening day. For me, waiting for opening day is like being in an empty ballpark waiting for the first pitch.

 

I’m nervous and optimistic and hopeful the unseen work means something wonderful is about to happen.renoAces_v_coloradoSpringSkySox_040512_1418

 

I have been the official team photographer since the club’s inception in 2009. This is my sixth opening day and I’m just as excited for this season as I was for the inaugural. Baseball is my favorite sport, Reno is my home and I love being responsible for documenting the history of this franchise.

 

To help count down the days, I have put together a gallery of some of my favorite opening day photos. In addition to the on-field action, I have included some behind-the-scenes, empty ballpark images.

 -David Calvert

renoAces_v_fresnoGrizzlies_040810_01

7 days and counting

I’ve always believed the fans are what make baseball great. The passion and devotion shown by baseball fans is unrivaled. In Reno, it is no different when it comes to Aces baseball. I’ve seen fans sit through rain delays, snow delays, and even watch games through wildfire smoke. Baseball fans are diehards and that’s why I love my job. As a client services rep, I get to work with the most diehard fans, our Aces ticket plan holders.

I consider myself to be in that group of diehard baseball fans, so getting to work with Aces fans is wonderful. I was born and raised in Reno and my life was consumed by baseball growing up. Clearly, much hasn’t changed since I was kid, but when I was growing up Reno didn’t have a professional baseball team of this level. I’m a little too young to remember the days of the Reno Silver Sox, so when the Aces moved here in 2009 I was ecstatic. When I got a job with the team in 2012, I was even more thrilled. Having the opportunity to work in a sport I love as well as working with fans that are just as crazy about baseball as I am is awesome.

Photo by David Calvert/Reno Aces

Photo by David Calvert/Reno Aces

To me, our plan holders are really the backbone of Aces baseball. They make up a large portion of our fan base and they attend the most games. On top of getting to catch as much baseball as they want, plan holders have a ton of added benefits. Depending on their ticket plan, being a plan holder can include team autograph sessions, fantasy batting practice, discounts at the Team Shop and the Freight House District, and access to events such as our annual Meet the Team Dinner and World Series Party. Around here, we offer so much more than just baseball.

I love game days more than anything because they give me a chance to talk with fans and make sure they’re having a great time at the park. From helping pass out giveaway items to visiting fans in their seats to make sure they’re having a good time, I’m constantly talking to fans throughout the game.

When you get a chance this season, stop by the sales booth or stop me as I’m, walking around the stadium and ask about how to get the most out of your Aceball experience. I’m here to help you make the most out of every trip to the park.

-Cody Lyford

Cody Lyford is the Client Services Representative for the Reno Aces. He joined the team in 2012, and this will be his third season in professional baseball, all with the Aces.

8 days and counting

When walking through the ballpark gate every day, there is no way of knowing what we will be doing. Intern life is exciting, unexpected and honestly a lot of fun!

I’m Kaitlin Haugen and this will be my third season working for the Reno Aces. After all this time if there is one thing I can be certain of, it’s thatthere has never been a dull moment. In three seasons, I have: crawled in a hamster ball, dressed as a gorilla, been tackled by other interns in sumo suits, played kickball dressed in a card costume, danced to the “Cotton Eyed Joe” on the dugout, worked with not only Archie, but also other mascots who have come to the ballpark, delivered pocket schedules, created proposals for sponsors, managed national anthem audition sign-ups and way too many other things to list. Every season I return I have no idea what is in store for me, but that is what keeps it so exciting and fun! My bosses have allowed me to do a little bit of everything to make sure I get the most out of my time here. There are honestly no words to explain how great it has been to work at Aces Ballpark. I have not only become part of an organization, but a family.

InternsI’m Cami Palludan. This is my first season with the Reno Aces as an intern. On the morning of my first day of work I got all ready. I picked out a cute outfit, did my hair and spent a little extra time on my makeup. Then 10 minutes before walking out the door I received a text message from Kaitlin saying we were to come in comfy clothes because we would be cleaning the promotions closet. I was not sure what that meant exactly, or what that was going to entail, but I changed and was on my way. When I got to the ballpark, Kaitlin took me down to the promotions closet and it was a bit overwhelming, to say the least. There were boxes and boxes of Reno Aces gear that needed to be organized and trash to be thrown away. It was quite the task and definitely not what I thought my first day of work was going to be like, but it was actually pretty fun! In the month I have been here I have helped out in the ticket office, compiled donation requests, delivered pocket schedules and attended Wild Aces practice. So far I have learned a lot about what goes on in the off-season and look forward to Opening Day!

The life of an intern is far from boring. Every day there is something new for the both of us, and the other four interns. It could be anything from a menial office task to something you never thought you would ever do, like cutting out letters to display in the ballpark windows. It is not your typical part-time job.

We have enjoyed every moment of off-season, but anxiously await Opening Day and the 2014 season. We hope you feel the same way!

9 days and counting

Photo by David Calvert/Reno Aces

Photo by David Calvert/Reno Aces

At the end of last season, we asked our fans what they wanted to see change going forward. We had a lot of responses regarding the Biggest Little Shop in the World, and this season we hope to deliver some of those changes to you.

At the very top of the list, something we heard over and over again was our price points were too high and we never offered any sales. We’re proud to say that we corrected that for this year. The newest feature to the Team Shop is our two sale racks in the back of the store offering customers discounts from 20-75 percent off retail.

We didn’t stop there though. Stacey Little, a retail buyer with over 20 years of experience, made sure we had tier pricing on all of our new merchandise. Now, if you want a sweatshirt, you have two choices: an affordable cotton hoody and Nike Therma-Fit on-field replica. We have similar pricing models for our hats, t-shirts, jackets, and much more as well.

The second most popular comment was that we didn’t offer enough cold weather apparel for Reno’s unpredictable weather. We are happy to say this has been corrected for this season as well. We all know that by the 7th inning, temperatures drop and a cool breeze picks up off the Truckee River. To help remedy that problem, fans can now walk into the Team Shop and choose from two different styles of blankets, multiple long sleeve t-shirts, Nike DRI-FIT pullovers, wind breaker jackets, soft shell jackets, vests, sweat pants and of course matching glove/scarf/beanie sets, so no matter the weather, we have you covered!

The authentic section of the Team Shop we rolled out late last season has quite a few new additions as well. We now have authentic game-worn jerseys (like the blue BP jerseys the Aces wore at home last season on hot game days), batting helmets for sale, game-used bats and balls and even a few authentic Aces and Diamondbacks travel bags.

Be sure to check out our website and follow the Team Shop on Twitter @AcesTeamShop for special promotions and discounts. And don’t forget to vote for your favorite hat in the Cap Dance Bracket where the winning cap will be offered at a 20 percent discount during the opening home stand.

-Taylor Russo

Taylor Russo is the Director of Merchandise for the Reno Aces and this will be his second season with the Aces and fifth overall in sports. Before joining the Aces, he worked for the NBA D-League Reno Bighorns.

10 days and counting

Forget everything you know about the Freight House District. For the 2014 Reno Aces season, expect a complete revamping from the ground up. The FHD is downtown Reno’s most unique venue… actually, FOUR venues in one!

Photo by David Calvert/Reno Aces

Photo by David Calvert/Reno Aces

Start with Arroyo Mexican Grill, featuring the freshest, most authentic Mexican flavors with a new, lower-priced lunch menu. Then, head upstairs for a near limitless selection of summer fun. The 250 Lounge will showcase the hottest DJs spinning your favorite tunes alongside the coolest cocktails. The Heineken Stage and Tuaca Center Bar present the best bands in Reno under an open air patio canopy. And Duffy’s Ale House sports the largest draft selection in northern Nevada with 48 tap handles of domestic, import and craft beers. If that weren’t enough, we have a brand new management team and hospitality staff to serve you, a redesigned, freshly-prepared menu to entice you and an array of games including shuffleboard, darts and billiards to entertain you. The FHD is open 5 pm-11:30 pm on Aces home game days and EVERY Friday and Saturday from 5pm-2am. Arroyo is open for lunch, too!

The FHD is located at 250 Evans Ave, adjacent to Aces Ballpark. For more information or to be added to our VIP list, check us out at freighthouse.com, on Facebook at Facebook.com/freighthouse or hit us up on Twitter at @RenoFHD. Or, just call us at 775-334-7071. The Freight House District – it’s not what you think. It’s so much more!

-Charlie Gray

Charlie Gray is the Director of Operations for the Freight House District. He is entering his first season with the FHD and in baseball after joining the organization in February.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.