I, on the other hand, was interested--I can't really say "excited"--to learn that professional baseball will be returning to Reno next year. Something called the Golden Baseball League (I know, I never heard of it either) is going to play up at Peccole Park at UNR under the resurrected name of the Reno Silver Sox, a name shared by a Single-A team that moved out of town in 1992. Oh, and for some reason their mascot is a gecko that looks like a frog. I'm not sure what a gecko has to do with Reno, but never mind.
Let's be clear about this: Reno wants, needs and deserves a baseball team. But the baseball team Reno wants, needs and deserves is a team that plays in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. The PCL has been around for over a hundred years, draws millions of fans and is affiliated with Major League Baseball. By comparison the one-year-old Golden Baseball League considers it a major coup that it managed to sign 46-year-old Rickey Henderson to play for it's San Diego Surf Dawgs, and includes an all-Japanese traveling team called the Japan Samurai Bears. Okay, the Japan Samurai Bears is actually kind of cool, but c'mon.
I really mean no disrespect to this league or their new team. In fact, I'm sure they'll put together a decent product and probably I'll go to a few games because I'm a sucker for this sort of thing. But this is really something that should be going on in, I don't know, maybe Carson City. Reno is a growing city and a great place to live, and frankly we can do better than this. We need a Triple-A baseball team and a Triple-A baseball field (and we need to get over the idea that the answer to every problem is more casinos). Not only is this city ready for this sort of thing, but it will be a lot of fun and will go a long, long way in helping us shed our white-trash image. Golden Baseball League officials say their league will in no way compete with or frustrate Reno's attempts to land a Triple-A team. I hope that's true. What I know for a fact is that plans for attracting a PCL or some other Triple-A team have been in limbo at least since 2001, when I first moved here. I'd hate to think that this is what we are ultimately going to have to settle for.