As the Reno Aces wrap up their season, KUNR’s Stephanie Serrano sat down with Emily Jaenson, the team’s general manager and the only female GM in Triple-A Baseball. In this conversation, Jaenson breaks down what it means to be a female leader and gives some highlights from this season.
Emily Jaenson was hired as the Reno Aces’ general manager in 2018 and still holds her leadership role as the only female GM in Triple-A Baseball. Across Minor League Baseball, she joins a group of five other women in GM positions.
Jaenson says she understands how important being a female leader is and addresses the weight that comes with her role to inspire other girls and women.
"I think about that day to day because of my responsibility to other girls,” Jaenson said. “I don't let that get in the way, and what that means to me is that I don't think about the fact that I am female each day. When I arrive at work I have a job to do, and I don't let that stop me, or any comment or perception or my role, stop me from doing the job that I've been entrusted to get done.”
Before taking this role, Jaenson understood that she was headed into an industry that both historically and to this day is dominated by men, but she describes herself as a “Jack of all trades,” which she says has, ultimately, helped her compete at a high level.
During the 2019 season, the Reno Aces took a step towards inclusion after applying and being selected to participate in a program called Copa de la Diversión or “Fun Cup” among 72 other teams in Minor League Baseball.
Throughout this season, the Aces identified as Los Corazones or “The Hearts” in four different games. The goal has been to engage and celebrate the Latinx culture and community, both nationally and locally.
"We definitely saw the Latino culture participate in Los Corazones nights and on other nights, too. Those aren't the only nights that we want to invite that community to our games,” Jaenson said. “The idea is that we show them the ballpark is open for everyone in Northern Nevada, and Los Corazones is a really warm handshake.
Jaenson said she’s eager to keep growing participation among the Latinx community in the years to come given that Nevada’s large Hispanic population and several top players come from Central America.
As for highlights this season, Jeanson commended star player Yasmany Tomás.
"Yasmany Tomás from Cuba is one of our best players. He's on a contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He's played in Reno for the last two years,” Jaeson said. “He won the Triple-A Homerun Derby at the All Star game, he was an All Star this season."
The Reno Aces as team had a slow start but quickly reshaped the season by setting season records, like matching homerun numbers from last year's season before the All Star break.
"You can never count us out," Jaenson said. "I think that's been the theme of this entire year. Just a couple of weeks ago, we were last in the Pacific Northern Division and now we're in second place. We are eight games behind Sacramento, so it's going to take a baseball miracle to make it to visit and get into the playoffs, but what a comeback we've had the second half of this season.”