Friday, March 28, 2014

Opening Day

I love the energy of an empty ballpark before the fans file in. It hums—electric, anxious—there's really so much going on, so much fans don't see.

Before a normal game at Aces Ballpark—after batting practice—the grounds crew rakes and waters the infield, maintenance hangs bunting and concessionaires open the stands. Soon the smells of hot dogs and hamburgers, popcorn and cotton candy will mix with sunshine, cut grass and pine tar.

Everyone is getting ready. I arrive early and do the same.

Outside the clubhouse, players swing in the cages. In centerfield, Archie puts on his oversize shoes. And at the security gate, beer is delivered by the keg.

It's exciting, it's American. Especially on opening day. For me, waiting for opening day is like being in an empty ballpark waiting for the first pitch.

I'm nervous and optimistic and hopeful the unseen work means something wonderful is about to happen.

As the Aces team photographer (since the club's inception in 2009) this is my sixth opening day. And I'm just as excited for this season as I was for the inaugural. Baseball is my favorite sport, Reno is my home and I love being responsible for documenting the history of this franchise.

To help count down the days over on the Aces blog, I have put together a gallery of some of my best opening day photos. In addition to the on-field action, I have included some of my favorite images from behind-the-scenes.