LAS VEGAS: The Las Vegas 51s professional baseball team of the Pacific Coast League (PCL), Triple-A affiliate of the New York Mets & 2013 Pacific Southern Division Champions, will open a brief five-game homestand on Thursday, August 7 against the Albuquerque Isotopes, Triple-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers, at Cashman Field at 7:05 p.m. The five-game series will conclude on Monday, August 11. All games, except for the Sunday, August 10 matinee contest at 12:05 p.m., will begin at 7:05 p.m.
The 51s, under second-year manager Wally Backman, are concluding a four-game road trip (2-1 record) in Northern California against the Sacramento River Cats, Triple-A affiliate of the Oakland A's, on Tuesday evening. The River Cats have the best record in all of Triple-A baseball (30 teams) with a 66-51 mark (.564). The "first place" 51s have the second-best record in the 16-team PCL with a 65-53 mark (.551) and lead second-place El Paso (55-62) by 9.5 games and third place Albuquerque (54-63) by 10.5 games in the Pacific Southern Division. The Syracuse Chiefs, Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, have the best record in the 14-team International League with a 64-51 (.557) mark.
2014 ATTENDANCE: In 58 dates, Las Vegas' total is 270,886 for an average of 4,670. Las Vegas franchise has reached the 300,000 plateau in "home" attendance in all 31 seasons (1983-2013) and the all-time attendance total now stands at 10,585,666. Las Vegas' season-high crowd, which includes four sellouts, was 11,133 vs. Salt Lake for the "Fireworks Extravaganza" on July 3 at Cashman Field. The 51s organization have the proud distinction of being the longest enduring franchise in the history of professional sports in the state of Nevada.
Budweiser Dollar Beer Night will be featured in the opener of the five-game series on Thursday, August 7. Every Thursday home game throughout the 2014 campaign will feature "Dollar Beers." Proper identification and wristbands are required for dollar beer night.
51s Back Pack Night, presented by Selective Service, will be featured on Friday, August 8 on Olive Crest Night. The first 2,500 fans through the gates, will receive a back pack, "in support of Selective Service."
Game three of the five-game series on Saturday, August 9 will feature Wally Backman Bobblehead Night, to the first 2,500 fans through the gates.
The 51s Skipper played 14 seasons in the Major Leagues as an infielder (2B, SS, 3B) with the New York Mets (1980-88), Minnesota (1989), Pittsburgh (1990), Philadelphia (1991-92) and Seattle (1993). He appeared in 1,102 games and batted .275 (893-for-3,245) with 138 doubles, 19 triples, 10 home runs, 240 RBI and 117 stolen bases in 169 attempts. He was a member of the 1986 Mets World Series championship team and hit a career-high .320 (124-for-387) during the season. He recorded back-to-back seasons of 30 stolen bases or more in 1984 & 1985 (32 stolen bases in 41 attempts & 30 SB's in 42 attempts). In 1990, as a member of Pittsburgh, he collected six hits in a game on April 27 vs. San Diego. Backman was selected by the Mets in the first round (16th overall pick) of the 1977 Major League Baseball Draft out of Aloha High School in Hillsboro, Oregon.
"Smith's Value Menu Monday" will be presented in the finale of the five-game series against the Isotopes on August 11. Monday "home" games will feature a "Value Menu" for the sixth straight season. The 51s and Aramark have teamed together for discounted food items on Hot Dogs, Popcorn, Peanuts, Cracker Jacks and Pretzels for just $1.00 per item.
Albuquerque's roster features three of the top 10 prospects in the Dodgers organization, according to Baseball America: Top prospect, outfielder Joc Pederson; right-handed pitcher Zach Lee (No. 4); second baseman Alex Guerrero (No. 7). Pederson has appeared in 98 games and is batting .303 (109-for-360) with 24 home runs (2nd in PCL), 58 RBI and 25 stolen bases.
Glenn Dishman, Albuquerque's pitching coach, played for the Las Vegas Stars from 1994-96. The left-hander played three seasons in the Major Leagues with San Diego (1995-96), Philadelphia (1996) and Detroit (1997).
Albuquerque has been the Triple-A affiliate of the Dodgers since the 2009 season. Prior to that season, the Isotopes were the Triple-A affiliate of the Florida Marlins for six seasons (2003-08). The Albuquerque Dukes were the Triple-A affiliate of the Dodgers for 29 seasons from 1972-2000. Las Vegas was the Triple-A Affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers for eight seasons (2001-08).
The 51s will broadcast all games on Lotus Broadcasting on Sports 920 (AM) The Game, which will carry live all 144 regular season games. Also, all games will be available on the 51s website (Major League Baseball Advanced Media, MLBAM) at www.LV51.com. Russ Langer, the nine-time Nevada Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association (NSSA), is in his 15th season behind the microphone calling 51s baseball.
All 51s games (home & away) will also be broadcast on MiLB.TV via LV51.com.
Following the five-game homestand, the 51s will begin a stretch of 16 straight games against the American Conference (August 12-27). Las Vegas will open an eight-game "Midwest" road trip in Des Moines, Iowa on Tuesday, August 12 against the Iowa Cubs, Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. The four-game series will conclude on Friday, August 15. The 51s will then travel to Omaha, Neb., to face the defending PCL & Triple-A Champions, the Omaha Storm Chasers, Triple-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals, in a four-game series, from Saturday-Tuesday, August 16-19.
Tickets for all 51s home games can be purchased at the America First Credit Union Box Office at Cashman Field. The box office is open Monday-Friday (non-game days) from Noon to 4:30 p.m. Tickets can also be purchased through Ticketmaster (1-800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com). Ticketmaster outlets are located at selected Smith's Food & Drug.
The individual game tickets for the 72-game home season are priced at $10.00 (reserved, $11.00-Day of Game); $13.00 (plaza, $14.00-Day of Game) and $14.00 (field, $15.00-Day of Game) & the blue dugout seats at $25.00. The traditional $2.00 discount for Military personnel is offered on plaza and reserved seats throughout the season except for the "Fireworks Extravaganza" that was held on Thursday, July 3 (all seats were $15.00 for that special event).
Season tickets, mini-plan packages (10 & 10-Game You Pick'em, 20, 33-game plans) and group ticket packages are available by calling the 51s office at (702) 798-7825.
Official licensed 51s team merchandise is available on the "Team Shop" section of the website.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.