Since the Triple-A Reno Aces began their franchise in 2009, many familiar faces on opposing teams have appeared over the years.
From a young prospect rising up the minor league ranks, or a major league player making a rehab appearance, the Aces have faced off against a number of superstar talents. Reno’s hopeful 2020 season was officially canceled on June 30, but the franchise has plenty of memories left untouched.
Fans may stumble upon a popular player or two when coming to the ballpark. And here is a list of notable names that have faced the Reno Aces.
2010: Rookie Buster Posey collects nine hits against Aces
It didn’t take long for catcher Buster Posey to make the most of his 2010 rookie season with the San Francisco Giants. Posey won National League Rookie of the Year and helped propel the Giants to their first World Series title in more than 50 years that season. He added two more World Series titles and an MVP award in 2012.
Before his emergence in the big leagues, Posey laced nine hits against the Aces in 2010 as a member of the Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies. He went 9-for-14 with one RBI in a four-game series to open up the season. Posey played against Reno in another four-game series that same year prior to his promotion to the big leagues.
2012: Rookie Mike Trout visits Greater Nevada Field
Reno Aces fans caught a familiar face when Mike Trout suited up for the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees in 2012. Trout made his MLB debut with the Angels in 2011 and began the next season in Salt Lake. He was called up to Los Angeles on April 28 and has patrolled center field ever since, earning three MVP awards and eight All-Star appearances at 28 years old.
Trout put on a show at Greater Nevada Field. He batted .300 (6-for-20) with a home run, triple and three RBIs in the four-game series against the Aces. Trout faced Reno once more that season at Smith’s Ballpark, going 0-for-3 with one strikeout.
2016: Mike Minor strikes out five Aces in rehab start
Kansas City Royals southpaw Mike Minor was placed on the 60-day disabled list in 2016 after recovering from left labrum — shoulder cartilage — surgery in 2015. As Minor regained his velocity on the mound, he totaled seven rehab starts for the Triple-A Omaha Storm Chasers.
Minor toed the rubber against Reno on May 20. In five innings of work, he surrendered four earned runs on five hits and three walks with five strikeouts. Minor’s fastball was touching the mid-90s and it was a positive sign of things to come for the left-hander.
Since his rehab start against the Aces, Minor has started 60 games for the Royals and Texas Rangers over the past three seasons.
2016: Tim Lincecum brings a packed crowd to Reno
The stands were colored in orange and black and 10,185 — the third largest crowd in stadium history — greeted Tim Lincecum with a standing ovation on June 7 when he took the mound for the Salt Lake Bees.
The two-time Cy Young award winner and three-time World Series champion with the San Francisco Giants was released in the off-season at the age of 32 after he underwent hip surgery. The Angels signed him to a one-year, $2.5 million contract.
The right-hander was roughed up in the first inning, allowing four runs, two of them earned. But he settled down and retired 14 of the final 15 batters he faced in a 95-pitch effort.
Lincecum was called up to the Angels on June 18. He sported a 2-6 record and 9.16 ERA in nine starts.
“Growing up, it’s always a dream, and to get out there is to have that dream come true,” Lincecum told Tahoe Onstage. “You never want to see that end. I’m not different from anybody else.”
2016: Hunter Pence, Joe Panik suit up for River Cats
San Francisco Giants right fielder Hunter Pence and second baseman Joe Panik suited up for Triple-A Sacramento against the Aces at Greater Nevada Field on July 26, 2016. The two players had rehab stints in the minor leagues.
Pence went 3-for-5 in the game with a two-run opposite field blast to Family Berm in right field. Panik finished 0-for-3 with a run scored.
Since their appearances at Greater Nevada Field, Pence returned to the Giants this off-season on a one-year deal. Panik was added to the Toronto Blue Jays’ 40-man roster.
2019: José Altuve faces Reno in rehab stint
Houston Astros second baseman José Altuve suffered a left hamstring strain and right knee soreness in June of last season. As a result, he played in five rehabilitation games for the Round Rock Express, Houston’s Triple-A affiliate.
Of those five games, Altuve faced the Reno Aces on June 14 at Dell Diamond Stadium. He went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and totaled just four hits in 21 rehab plate appearances.
Altuve was activated off the 10-day injured list and returned to his usual form with Houston. The 2017 American League MVP helped the Astros appear in their second World Series in three years before falling to the Washington Nationals.