Cashman Field Is Less Than Optimal If The Mets Hook Up With Las Vegas

The sign that greets all visitors reads Cashman Stadium, but it’s official and better known name is Cashman Field.

I was compelled to do a little research this morning on the home of the Las Vegas 51’s, Cashman Field. I was motivated by a couple of comments that were left on my post yesterday in which I reported that the Mets could be hitching the Triple-A team with Las Vegas after the Oklahoma City Redhawks renewed their PDC with the Houston Astros.

Scott wrote:

As a 16 year resident of Las Vegas, I can’t be more happy, or saddened by the news. Vegas has one of the most antiquated stadiums and facilities in the PCL. I would love to be able to see the Mets, but feel sorry for the players.

Rob wrote:

I live in Vegas and while it would be absolutely incredible to have MY team’s AAA affiliate here, in a way I hope not.
Vegas never has been and never will be a baseball town

Mike Lloyd wrote:

Really, Sin City? That facility makes the movie Major League with the boat propeller in the metal tub look like a health spa. I was there and saw it first hand in 2006… The Wilpon’s and the “Alderson 5″ want to stick their upcoming talent in an inferior facility two time zones away… Really? Fred c’mon… When is it gonna end?

I took a look to see what I could find as far as reviews and discovered this…

Baseball Pilgrimages reviewed Cashman Field and lists the following among their facts and figures:

  • The stadium is a part of the Cashman Center complex. The entire complex was built for $26 million and includes two exhibit halls, 16 meeting rooms and a 1,940-seat theatre.
  • Named for the Cashman family, the stadium and convention center were built on 50-acres of land donated by family patriarch James “Big Jim” Cashman. The land also housed the city’s previous minor league stadium, which was established in 1948 and also known as Cashman Field.
  • Owned and operated by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
  • Hosted its first game on April 1, 1983, when 13,878 fans turned out for an exhibition between the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners. That game ended in a 1-1 tie after 10 innings.
  • Annually plays host to the “Big League Weekend” during spring training, when a pair of Major League teams visit from Arizona for a two-game series that regularly sells out.
  • The stadium’s attendance record was set on April 3, 1993, when 15,025 fans turned out for a Big League Weekend game between the Chicago Cubs and White Sox.
  • Hosted the Triple-A All-Star Game in 1990, when a crowd of 10,323 watched a team of National League prospects defeat a team of American League prospects 8-5.
  • Home to the Triple-A World Series from 1998-2000.
  • Became the first minor league park to host a Major League Baseball season opening series when the Oakland A’s played their first six games here in 1996 while renovations were being completed at the Oakland Coliseum. The games drew a total of 54,986 fans, a per game average of 9,164.
  • Two mountain ranges are visible beyond the outfield. Extending from left to right, they are the Sheep Mountain Range and Sunrise Mountain.
  • The name 51s was inspired by the informal name of the Nevada military base that supposedly is where the government studies alien aircraft. The top secret base, often called Area 51, is 83 miles north of Las Vegas, although it doesn’t appear on US government maps.

Cashman Field will not grab your eyeballs and make your jaw drop. It is old, up front with its intent, but more than adequate for its purpose. Located just a few minutes from both Freemont Street and the new Strip, the stadium is nestled on the back side of the Cashman Center, which is a convention center.

The 51s have been playing at Cashman Field since 1983. Originally the team was called the Stars while they were the AAA affiliate of the San Diego Padres (1983-2000). They became the 51s when the Dodgers became their Big League partners. The 2009 season marked another change as new owners took over and a new affiliation, this time with the Toronto Blue Jays, began. There was a plan to change the team name once again but that seems to have been put on hold. So, for now, the 51s remain at Cashman Field and baseball is alive, if not well, in Sin City.

Day games are played under the most extreme conditions at Cashman Field under the hot sun and dry air. Even during night games, the conditions are less than optimal and players often need to keep themselves very hydrated to avoid injuries.

I’m back to my fall schedule at work and will be providing more minor league coverage at least for the next three months. I hope you enjoy it.