Reno’s Aces to begin play in Triple A next season

RENO — Owners of a minor league baseball team moving to Reno announced Tuesday that the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks will be named the Aces and begin the 2009 season in a new downtown stadium in April.

“We’re definitely coming in ’09,” Stuart Katzoff, managing partner of the team, told about 300 cheering fans as the name and logo were unveiled at a hotel-casino.

“We spent a long time working on this name. We wanted to find something that fit the region, something that was professional and really was a symbol of who we think the community of Reno is. We think we’ve nailed it perfectly,” he said.

In addition to the obvious connection to Reno’s casino history, Katzoff said the name reflects the tradition of baseball.

“The best pitcher on a team is the pitching ace,” he said.

The team, which played as the Tucson Sidewinders last year, will again play in the Pacific Coast League, which includes teams in Las Vegas and Sacramento. Team officials expect the Sacramento River Cats — an affiliate of the Oakland Athletics — to become a natural rival.

The new name was drawn from the 3,500 entries fans submitted in a contest, including 1,100 different ideas, Katzoff said. More than 100 of those were tied to the theme that led them to pick Aces, he said.

Mayor Bob Cashell donned a dark navy blue hat with the white script “A” and a white jersey with the red-white-and-blue logo — a baseball in the background with RENO in navy block letters and “Aces” written in navy script.

A line comes out from the last “s” and underlines Aces. A red diamond is set within the “A.”

Katzoff is an equal partner in SK Baseball along with his father, Jerry, who owns a chain of East Coast Italian restaurants, and Herb Simon, a leading mall developer and owner of the NBA’s Indiana Pacers. They bought the baseball team in 2006 and announced last year they were moving it to Reno.

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