Northern Nevada baseball fans are always cheering for the Reno Aces! The Aces are part of the Pacific Coast League, a Major League Baseball-affiliated 16-team league that stretches from California to Tennessee. They will be a part of the Pacific Conference's South Division along with the Fresno Grizzlies, Las Vegas 51s, and Sacramento River Cats.
The Teams Origins
The Aces were originally known as the Tucson Sidewinders from 1998 to 2008. Before that, the team was first known as the Tucson Toros. They were Tucson's Triple-A baseball club, playing at Hi Corbett Field in midtown Tucson from 1969 to 1997. Part of the old 10-team configuration of the Pacific Coast League, the Toros won the PCL Championship in 1991 and 1993. The Toros were preceded by a number of other Tucson teams between 1915 and 1958, such as the Tucson Cowboys and the Tucson Lizards.
After the MLB expansion that added the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix and Tampa Bay Devil Rays, the Toros moved to Fresno, California as the Fresno Grizzlies. The Phoenix Firebirds relocated to Tucson, briefly became the Tucson Toros (1997), and then became the Sidewinders (1998), the Triple-A affiliate of the new Diamondbacks. This was accomplished by what amounted to a "swap" in ownership in 1997, with Firebirds owner Martin Stone purchasing the Toros and Toros owner Rick Holtzman receiving interest in the Firebirds. The Tucson team retained management and staff primarily from the Toros, and traces its history from the Toros rather than the Firebirds.
The Phoenix Firebirds had played from 1958 through 1997 as an affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. The franchise joined the Pacific Coast League as a charter member in 1903 as the San Francisco Seals, relocating to Phoenix when the major league New York Giants moved to San Francisco. Seals alumni include Joe DiMaggio.
The Tucson Toros have been affiliated with the Chicago White Sox (1969 - 1972), the Oakland Athletics (1973 - 1976), the Texas Rangers (1977 - 1979), the Houston Astros (1980 - 1996), and the Milwaukee Brewers (1997 only, with one Diamondbacks prospect, Travis Lee, playing with them by special arrangement). At the time of the change in venue and affiliations (1998), a new Tucson team name, the "Sidewinders" was chosen after a name the team contest was held.