LAS VEGAS: The Las Vegas 51s professional baseball team of the Pacific Coast League (PCL), Triple-A affiliate of the New York Mets, will celebrate their 35th season in the Silver State during the 2017 campaign. The 51s organization have the proud distinction of being the longest enduring franchise in the history of professional sports in the state of Nevada. Las Vegas Triple-A baseball was born on April 10, 1983 before a crowd of 10,622 at Cashman Field.
The team will use a special logo to commemorate the 2017 season. The Stars was the franchise's original nickname for the first 18 seasons from 1983-2000 and had a player development contract with the San Diego Padres. The team then unveiled a new alien theme logo, based on the semi-secret government base known as "Area 51" which is located 160 miles northwest of Las Vegas. Media reports of UFO sightings and alien activities have been rumored at the base. Prior to the 2001 season, the franchise changed the nickname from the Stars to 51s and signed a PDC with the Los Angeles Dodgers and spent eight seasons as their affiliate (2001-08). The 51s then signed a PDC with the Toronto Blue Jays for four seasons (2009-12). Toronto then signed a new "PDC" with Triple-A Buffalo of the International League following the 2012 season. Las Vegas then signed a PDC with the New York Mets and have since enjoyed four seasons as their top affiliate. Las Vegas has compiled a 309-267 record (.536) from 2013-16 which has included two playoff appearances (back-to-back 80-win seasons in 2013-14).
"We are excited about the '35 Seasons Logo' and we wanted to incorporate both the Stars and 51s in the logo," 51s President/COO Don Logan said. "This franchise has a very proud tradition with all of the great players that have been a part of this organization as members of the Padres, Dodgers, Blue Jays and Mets.
"We have provided the best in fun, family oriented entertainment for the citizens of Southern Nevada for over three decades. 51s baseball is a very important entity in this community. The PCL possesses a rich tradition and has been in existence for 114 years (inaugural season in 1903). The PCL provides a high caliber of competition in Triple-A baseball and has always provided a great product for the fans to come out to the ballpark to enjoy. The fan support we've had for 34 seasons has solidified that fact."
The Las Vegas franchise has reached the 300,000 plateau in "home" attendance at Cashman Field for 34 consecutive seasons (1983-2016) and the all-time attendance total now stands at 11,309,728.
Triple-A baseball over the past 34 seasons in Las Vegas has been a "Who's Who" of future Major League stars that have played at Cashman Field. A few of the top Las Vegas (Stars/51s) players have included: Sandy Alomar Jr., Carlos Baerga, Bruce Bochy, Joey Cora, Travis d'Arnaud, Jacob deGrom, Ozzie Guillen, Matt Kemp, John Kruk, Brett Lawrie, Rick Lancellotti, Derrek Lee, James Loney, Russell Martin, Kevin McReynolds, Bip Roberts, Benito Santiago, Noah Syndergaard.
A few of the top opponents included: Lance Berkman, Craig Biggio, Barry Bonds, Madison Bumgarner, Vince Coleman, Chili Davis, Jim Edmonds, Todd Helton, Torii Hunter, Orel Hershiser, Wally Joyner, Eric Karros, Kenny Lofton, Edgar Martinez, Mark McGwire, Mike Piazza, Buster Posey, Alex Rodriguez, Tim Salmon, Curt Schilling, Danny Tartabull, Jim Thome, Mark Trumbo, Matt Williams.
The 51s will open the 142-game season on Thursday, April 6 against the defending PCL champion, the El Paso Chihuahuas, Triple-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres. The "home opener" will be on Tuesday, April 11 against the Fresno Grizzlies, Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros, at Cashman Field at 7:05 p.m.
2017 season tickets and mini-plan packages (11, 22, 36-game plans) are available by calling the 51s office at (702) 943-7200. Individual game tickets for the 71-game home schedule will go on sale in March.
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.