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Las Vegas 51s

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Las Vegas 51s</br>Founded in 1983
in [[{{{founding city}}}]]
Based in [[{{{present city}}}]] since [[{{{based}}} in baseball|{{{based}}}]]


LasVegas51s</br> Team Logo LasVegas51sCap</br> Cap Insignia
Class-level
Minor league affiliations
Major league affiliations
Name
  • Las Vegas 51s (2001–present)
  • Las Vegas Stars (1983–2000)
  • Spokane Indians (1973–1982)
  • Portland Beavers (1919–1972)
Ballpark
Minor league titles
League titles 1986, 1988 (2)
Division titles 1983, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2002 (8)
Owner(s)/Operated by: Stevens Baseball Group[a]
Manager: Marty Brown
General Manager: Chuck Johnson

</noinclude> The Las Vegas 51s, formerly known as the Las Vegas Stars, are a minor league baseball team. They are the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Mets. They play at Cashman Field (capacity 9,334) in Las Vegas, Nevada. The team competes in the Pacific Coast League (PCL). The 51s won the PCL championship as the Stars in 1986 and 1988.

The 51s take their name from Area 51 which is located close to Rachel, Nevada, about 80 miles north of Las Vegas, although the route that must be taken by car to get there takes about three hours of travel. The team logo jokingly depicts one of the grey aliens thought by UFO believers to inhabit that base.

The team's first affiliation was with the San Diego Padres from 1983 to 2000. In 2001, they became the top farm club of the Los Angeles Dodgers. That affiliation ended at the conclusion of the 2008 season, when the 51s signed on with the Blue Jays.

On March 24, 2008, Mandalay Baseball Properties sold the 51s franchise to Stevens Baseball Group.[1] There were no plans to move the team,[2] and talks of building a new stadium have been essentially stagnant for the past seven years.[3][4] The team has sold about 5,000 tickets per game on average the last few years,[5] but far fewer fans typically attend home games.[6]

In May 2011, Stevens Baseball Group came to an agreement to sell the 51s for an undisclosed amount to Silver State Baseball Group, LLC, with ownership to be transferred by the end of July 2011. Chris Milam, head of Silver State Baseball Group, LLC plans to move the team to a new ballpark at his proposed Las Vegas National Sports Center, if the complex is built.[7]

Franchise history Edit

Portland Beavers and Spokane Indians Edit

The Las Vegas 51s originally began as the second incarnation of the Portland Beavers baseball club, who reentered the Pacific Coast League after a two-year hiatus. In 1973, the team moved to Spokane, Washington, and were renamed the Indians.

Baseball returns to Las Vegas Edit

The franchise moved once again in 1983, becoming the Las Vegas Stars. The Stars became the first professional sports team to play in Las Vegas since the Las Vegas Wranglers baseball club who played from 1947–52 and 1957–58. The Stars inaugural season was quite successful, posting an 83–60 record and winning the first half championship for the Southern Division leading to a playoff berth, eventually losing to the Albuquerque Dukes. The following season, the Stars posted another successful campaign going 71–65 and winning their second division championship (first half), but ultimately lost in the league semifinals to the Hawaii Islanders. After a dismal '85 campaign, the Stars returned to their winning ways posting an 80–62 record and winning the second half of the Southern Division. In the league semifinals, the Stars defeated the Phoenix Firebirds 3 to 2 and went on to win their first PCL Championship, defeating the Vancouver Canadians in five games. The Stars won their second PCL Championship two years later, once again defeating Vancouver, this time in 4 games.

After winning shares of five division titles and two league championships in their first six years, the Stars hit a huge skid, only posting a .500 or better record four times and winning shares of only two division championships in the remaining twelve years. The Stars were unable to advance past the first round of the playoffs in both seasons that they qualified.

Intergalactic baseball Edit

In 2001, after 18 years as the San Diego Padres top affiliate, the two teams parted ways. The Stars then affiliated with the Los Angeles Dodgers, whose AAA affiliate, the Albuquerque Dukes, moved to Portland, Oregon to become the fourth incarnation of the Beavers. The Stars decided to rebrand their entire operation, renaming the team the 51s as a reference to Area 51, a military base located north-northwest of Las Vegas and believed to house UFOs and other "alien" technology. The team released a logo featuring a grey alien head and introduced a mascot reminiscent of the Star Wars character Jar Jar Binks.

Even with a new affiliate, a new name and a new look, the 51s did not improve on the field. The 51s have posted only three winning seasons in the nine years of their existence. Their only division title came in 2002 as the team posted the best record in the league at 85–59, but they lost to the eventual PCL champion Edmonton Trappers three games to one.

During their eight years together, the Dodgers and the 51s had a very rocky relationship. The Dodgers were not pleased with Cashman Field as it had no weight room, no indoor batting cages, and it was decrepit compared to other stadiums in the league. Citing the inadequacies of Cashman Field and lack of planning for a replacement, Los Angeles decided to not renew the player development contract (PDC) with Las Vegas after the 2008 season, opting to re-affiliate with Albuquerque.

Toronto Blue Jays and Sale to Stevens Baseball Group Edit

Following the departure of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the 51s signed a two-year PDC contract with the Toronto Blue Jays, marking the first time that the 51s have been affiliated with an American League club. The signing of the Blue Jays with the Las Vegas 51s ended Toronto’s 30 year affiliation the Blue Jays had with the Syracuse Chiefs.

Before the 2008 season, Mandalay Baseball Properties sold the team to Stevens Baseball Group. The new president, Derek Stevens, stated that he plans to keep the team in the Las Vegas Area yet wants to change the team’s name and identity in time for the 2009 season. Due to the length of time it took to secure a new PDC, this led the team to miss the deadline set by Minor League Baseball. Following the missed deadline, the Las Vegas 51s have not made any public attempts at changing the team’s name and identity.

On September 21, 2010, the Toronto Blue Jays signed a two-year contract extension with the Las Vegas 51s, stating that the team is pleased to continue their relationship with the organization in Las Vegas.[8]

Sale to Silver State Baseball, LLC Edit

A month into the 2011 season, Stevens Baseball Group agreed to sell the 51s to Silver State Baseball, LLC, headed by Texan entrepreneur Chris Milam. The deal, which is subject to league approval, would include moving the 51s from Cashman Field to a new ballpark off the Las Vegas Strip that would be a part of Milam's proposed Las Vegas National Sports Center. The complex would also include a 17,500-seat arena and a 36,000 seat stadium behind the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino and would cover an area between Russell Road and Hacienda Avenue and bordered by Polaris Avenue and Interstate 15. Approval of the sale by the league and transfer of ownership should occur by the end of July 2011.[7][9][10]

Media Edit

The Las Vegas 51s are covered by Las Vegas' two daily newspapers, the Las Vegas Review-Journal and Las Vegas Sun. Every 51s game is broadcast by KBAD 920-AM, the local Fox Sports Radio affiliate, with Russ Langer returning for his tenth season as the broadcast's play-by-play man. Several prominent sports radio and television personalities made the start as broadcaster for the Stars and 51s, most notably ESPN's Colin Cowherd.

Broadcasters Edit

  • Bob Blum (1985–2005)
  • Dick Calvert (1983)
  • Colin Cowherd (1987–88)
  • Joe Hawk (1983)
  • Ken Korach (1989–95)
  • Russ Langer (2000–present)
  • Tim Neverett (1996–2003, 2005–06)
  • Paul Olden (1984–87)
  • Jerry Reuss (1994–95, 2005–06)
  • Jon Sandler (1993–99)
  • Dom Valentino (1983–85, 1987–89)
  • Rich Waltz (1990–92)

Season-by-season recordEdit

This is a partial list of the last five seasons completed by the 51s. For the full season-by-season history, see Las Vegas 51s seasons.

Records accurate as of end of the 2010 PCL season

Season Affiliate Conference Division Regular Season Postseason Awards
Finish[a] Wins Losses Win% GB
2006 LAD Pacific South 3rd 67 77 .465 24
2007 LAD Pacific South 4th 67 77 .465 17
2008 LAD Pacific South 2nd 74 69 .517 9
2009 TOR Pacific South T-3rd 71 73 .493 15.5 Randy Ruiz (MVP)
2010 TOR Pacific South 4th 66 78 .458 13 J.P. Arencibia (MVP)

Players Edit

Current roster Edit

Las Vegas 51s roster
This box: view  talk  edit
Players Coaching staff
Pitchers

† Disabled list
‡ Reserve list
* On Toronto Blue Jays 40-man roster
Roster updated 2008-07-18

Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

Designated Hitter

Manager

Coaches


Notable alumni Edit

Individual awards and accomplishments Edit

PCL MVP Edit

PCL Manager of the Year Edit

PCL Executive of the Year Edit

  • 1992 – Don Logan
  • 1998 – Don Logan

Footnotes Edit

  • Template:Note labelStevens Baseball Group sold the Las Vegas 51s to Silver State Baseball, LLC in May 2011 and the transfer of ownership should occur by the end of July 2011.

References Edit

  1. Gemma, Jim. "Stevens Baseball Group – New Owner of Las Vegas 51s." Las Vegas 51s. March 24, 2008. Retrieved on March 28, 2008.
  2. Gemma, Jim. "Mandalay Baseball Transacts More Business – Sells Las Vegas 51s Franchise." Las Vegas 51s. October 31, 2007. Retrieved on September 27, 2008.
  3. Anderson, Mark. "Logan lobbies for new stadium. Las Vegas Review-Journal. July 11, 2001. Retrieved on September 27, 2008.
  4. Iole, Kevin. "Dodgers threaten to quit 51s." Las Vegas Review-Journal. July 2, 2003. Retrieved on September 27, 2008.
  5. "Las Vegas 51s: About." Las Vegas 51s. Retrieved on September 27, 2008.
  6. Las Vegas Sun.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Ralston, Joe. "Texan closer to bringing arena complex to Las Vegas, signs contract for 51s". Las Vegas Sun. May 6, 2011. Retrieved on May 7, 2011.
  8. [1]
  9. Staff report "Las Vegas 51s reach agreement on team sale". Las Vegas Review-Journal. May 6, 2011. Retrieved on May 7, 2011.
  10. Haney, Lee and Gemma, Jim "Las Vegas National Sports Center Acquires Las Vegas 51s". Las Vegas 51s. May 6, 2011. Retrieved on May 7, 2011.

External linksEdit

Pacific Coast League
American Conference North Pacific Conference North
Iowa Cubs | Memphis Redbirds | Nashville Sounds | Omaha Storm Chasers Colorado Springs Sky Sox | Reno Aces | Salt Lake Bees | Tacoma Rainiers
American Conference South Pacific Conference South
Albuquerque Isotopes | New Orleans Zephyrs | Oklahoma City RedHawks | Round Rock Express Fresno Grizzlies | Las Vegas 51s | Sacramento River Cats | Tucson Padres

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