Aces gear up for home opener | NevadaAppeal.com

Aces gear up for home opener

Reno Aces

The Reno Aces are set to begin their 2015 home campaign today when they host the Albuquerque Isotopes at 6:35 p.m. at Aces Ballpark in Reno.

Gates open at 5 p.m., although fans are encouraged to arrive early. Pre-game festivities begin at 6 p.m. and include first pitches from special guests Hall-of-Fame member Randy Johnson and Squaw Valley Ski Holdings President & CEO Andy Wirth. Other appearances will be made by American Idol contestant Molly Seals and Madame Houdini.

Johnson was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in January and just began his new role as Special Assistant to Arizona Diamondbacks President & CEO Derrick Hall. Johnson received 97.3 percent of the votes in the January election, the eighth-highest number in Hall of Fame voting history.

A five-time Cy Young Award winner (four with the Diamondbacks), Johnson ranks second on the all-time Major League strikeout list with 4,875. The 10-time All-Star won 303 games in his career.

Wirth was involved in a harrowing skydiving accident on Oct. 13, 2013, in Lodi, Calif. He was skydiving with a group of people and a series of events caused Wirth to make an unexpected landing in a vineyard lined with power lines. Upon landing, Wirth hit a pole that severed his right arm. A former EMT, Wirth immediately went into life-saving mode.

Twenty-four surgeries and a three-month hospital stay later, doctors were able to reattach Wirth's right arm. To date, he has over 70 percent use of his right hand, despite not having a bicep.

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His first pitch will be a fundraiser for High Fives, a non-profit organization built to help big mountain athletes recover from life-altering injuries. In an added special element, Holmes will skydive into Aces Ballpark to deliver the first pitch ball to Wirth.

The national anthem will be performed by Seals, a 22-year-old singer from Carson City who advanced to the Hollywood stage in the current season of American Idol. Fifteen active members of the United States Army will hold the American Flag during the anthem.

Additionally, Madame Houdini will perform a pre-game magic show and another performance on the Aces dugout in between innings.

Opening Night promotions include Saint Mary's Fireworks presented by KRNV News 4, magnet schedule giveaway to the first 5,000 fans and Kids Run the Bases presented by KTVN Channel 2 News.

"We're very proud and excited to open the seventh season of Reno Aces baseball in Northern Nevada," said Aces President Eric Edelstein. "Aces fans deserve the absolute best, and we believe opening night is the start to a memorable year at Aces Ballpark, both on and off the field."

Ticket packages are on-sale now at http://www.RenoAces.com or by calling 775-334-4700. For up-to-date news and notes throughout the season, follow the club on Twitter (@aces) or like the team on Facebook.

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