BEHIND THE PLATE: Aces ready to defend Triple-A title |

BEHIND THE PLATE: Aces ready to defend Triple-A title

The grass always seems greener on a baseball field.

For the first time since relocating to Reno in 2009, the Reno Aces opened this season as Triple-A champions after spending the last couple of postseasons trying to defeat their cross-Sierra rivals. And for the first time in the Biggest Little City, fans will get a chance to welcome their reigning champs in tonight’s home opener at Aces Stadium as Reno takes on Sacramento at 6 p.m. in a four-game series.

While most of this year’s team is different than the one that won it all last season, the Aces still provide the positive excitement that downtown Reno has lacked. Tickets are decently priced, and Triple-A baseball has been dubbed as one of the most family friendly experiences in sports.

Our oldest daughter’s first baseball game was at Aces Ballpark three years ago, and it seemed during that summer, the baseball atmosphere was Kyra’s comfort zone to spending time with her grandpa. She felt at ease every time we watched the Aces in 2010 and tonight will her sister’s first time watching professional baseball.

But enjoying a relaxing evening in downtown Reno’s prized gem is one of many reasons to experience baseball at one of the highest levels as you watch up-and-coming stars visit Reno.

Before making the jump and helping the Giants win the World Series in 2010, Buster Posey and the Fresno Grizzlies were in town just a couple weeks before the star catcher was called up to play against, coincidentally, the Diamondbacks in San Francisco. Posey eventually won Rookie of the Year that season after spending the first month in Triple-A and playing against the Aces. Posey now has an NL MVP and another championship ring, proving how special it can be to witness a player of this caliber compete only an hour away from Fallon.

You see many potential candidates for Rookie of the Year walk through Aces Ballpark. You see former greats get one more chance to prove that they can still hang with the young crowd and win a championship. And you get to witness big names completing a rehab assignment before getting back to the Big Leagues.

Minor league baseball has been an exciting adventure since it was reborn in Reno four years ago.

No more did fans have to suffer through the pathetic Golden Baseball League with the Silver Sox. No more games at the decaying and now deceased Moana Stadium. Professional baseball has given Northern Nevada another route of escape and an opportunity to enjoy a nice, summer evening game.

And for the first time in Northern Nevada, a professional sports champion resides and looks to defend its crown with a different lineup but same coaching staff. It begins tonight when the Aces host the Rivercats before the first fireworks show of the season.

Aceball is back for yet another encore.

Thomas Ranson can be contacted at