Baseball may be done for the season, but a photo exhibit called "My Reno Aces: Minor League Baseball in the Biggest Little City" is highlighting the eight-year history of Reno's ball club.
Reno Public Radio's Noah Glick spoke with team photographer David Calvert about this special exhibit.
KUNR: What are some of the more memorable moments you’ve seen in your time covering the Aces?
David Calvert: “Well it actually started, I photographed the construction of the ballpark early on for the New York Times, and that’s why I got the Aces job eventually. I had photographed the then-owner and met him and told him I was interested in being there. So I’ve seen it when it was just a pile of dirt, and I’ve seen it come to life.”
“The memorable experiences…there was the national championship year when they won the AAA National Championship, and then I’ve been in the clubhouse for a couple of champagne celebrations at the end of the year.”
“I’ve seen some big name talent come through on the other side of the field. Mike Trout when he was on his way up, Buster Posey, Tim Lincecum pitched there this season—a lot of local Giants interest at the ballpark, so that’s always been fun.”
So you’ve taken all these photos over the years and now you’re compiling them all into one exhibit. How did this idea come to fruition and what can people expect to see?
“The exhibit came about because at the beginning of last season, the Reno Aces and Sierra Arts created a partnership where Sierra Arts brought local art and local artists into the ballpark and help decorate the suite level and coordinated some of the mural paintings and stuff like that. And we thought it would be cool to bring the ballpark to the gallery.”
“So the photos that are there are some of my favorites in the last eight seasons, and I chose them mostly because they’re cool pictures. They’re my favorite photos. I like the light, I like the moment, I think there’s some quirkiness to some of them. But they also do cover the history of the ball club.”
Alright, let’s get into the photos. What would you say are some of your favorites?
“There’s one specific one and if you come down, you’ll recognize it right away. So she’s a little girl and she’s wearing a full-body hot dog suit. And sometimes between innings they’ll have a hot dog suit and two other children—one in a ketchup bottle and one in a mustard bottle—race around the bases. And it’s probably my favorite photo I’ve taken at the ballpark, and it’s this little girl rounding third base. She’s wearing blue Crocs and she’s barely off the ground, and just have this joyful look, but you know, she’s wearing a hot dog suit.”
“And there’s another photo, a former Aces player Ender Inciarte, who actually won the Gold Glove this year for the Atlanta Braves playing at the big league level. A couple of seasons ago when he was in Reno, opening day, we wanted to do something a little special so we had the players accompanied out to the league for pre-game introductions by showgirls from Harrah’s. So there’s a photo of him, arm-in-arm walking with this beautiful young lady, and it’s just one of the most Reno photos I think you could take.”
“You wouldn’t see it in any other market in that way, and that’s just what I think it one of the fun photos from this gallery. It’s different.”
What’s it like sort of being on the team? Do the players treat you as one of the guys?
“What I hope for as a photographer is not to be one of the guys, but I want to feel welcome and I want them to feel comfortable when I’m there. So the familiarity is what’s important to me.”
“It kind of reminds me of taking pictures when I first started in high school and college when you knew everybody you were photographing and your subjects were comfortable around you, because you spend time together. And that’s really where the best photos come from, or the most intimate moments happen, and it’s when you can be near someone when they’re going through some highs or lows emotionally and they don’t mind you taking their picture.”
“They’re some friendships there, but the fact that they feel comfortable around me is what I try for.”
David Calvert is the team photographer for the Reno Aces and has an exhibit of his photos on display at the Sierra Arts Foundation in downtown Reno through November 23.
The Sierra Arts Foundation is a financial contributor to this station and Calvert serves as a mentor for KUNR’s photography interns.