Catcher Konrad Schmidt hasn’t played for the Reno Aces since 2012, but he received 89 percent of the popular vote to be the first inductee into the Aces Hall of Fame.
He was celebrated Friday night at Aces After Dark, an event featuring a home run contest for season tickets, half-off at the apparel store and fun for kids. The weather was mild, and most families said this was a perfect excuse to get their kids moving and out of the house.
Alongside face-painted children were die-hard fans. Seth Swanson and Stephanie Chew aren’t from Reno. They work at a ski resort, but drive down to Reno a couple times a week to support the Aces Minor League Baseball Club. The Reno club is the Triple-A affiliate for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Fans came to Greater Nevada Field for a chance to win season tickets or get first dibs on high demand game including Opening Day (Thursday, April 5), Star Wars Night (Saturday, May 12) and Super Hero Night (Saturday, June 16.) They also came to celebrate their favorite catcher.
Schmidt, his wife and her parents were full of smiles during his commemoration video. A native of Santa Rosa, he played for the University of Nevada, Reno, baseball team. In addition to his time with the Aces, he played with the Diamondbacks in 2010 and 2012.
“My time is Reno was remarkable” Schmidt said. “I think this a good way of showing and getting some appreciation. It means a lot to me.”
Schmidt, 33, took this opportunity to reminisce and show his family his old stomping grounds, from his locker to the hot tub he needed to get moving every morning.
“When you spend your life doing something and it comes to an end… you miss that,” Schmidt said. “I don’t think I can say in words how much I appreciate the fans’ support.”
– Tony Contini