The 51s landed in Las Vegas 35 years ago. To celebrate the feat, the club has revealed a special anniversary logo which refers to the current moniker but also the previous one.
AAA baseball landed in Las Vegas in 1983 when the AAA Spokane Indians moved to the city of light and became the affiliate of the San Diego Padres. Of course the name stars refered to the glitter and glamour of Sin City. The affiliation with the Padres lasted for eighteen seasons before the Dodgers took over in 2001. When the Dodgers became the parent club, the club changed its moniker into 51s, referring to “Area 51” which is located 160 miles northwest of Las Vegas. The alien logo is a link to the many UFO sightings that have taken place at the semi-secret airforce base.
The Los Angeles Dodgers remained the parent club of the 51s until 2009 when the Toronto Blue Jays took over in 2009. All too soon it became clear that the Blue Jays weren’t happy in Las Vegas but it still took them four seasons to get out of there and sign with the Buffalo Bisons in the 2012 off season. When the Blue Jays left, the New York Mets took over and there are no signs that indicate an eventual departure yet.
Over the previous 34 seasons the club averaged a season attendance of 300,000. and the all-time attendance total now stands at 11,309,728
Since 2001 the 51s have one of the most iconic logos in Minor League Baseball.
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.
51s President/COO Don Logan stated: “We are excited about the ’35 Seasons Logo’ and we wanted to incorporate both the Stars and 51s in the logo. 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.”
Through the years many future MLB players have called Las Vegas home: Sandy Alomar Jr., Carlos Baerga, Jacob deGrom, Ozzie Guillen, Matt Kemp, John Kruk, Brett Lawrie, Derrek Lee, James Loney, Russell Martin, Bip Roberts, Benito Santiago and Noah Syndergaard to name a few. These 51s have faced several future MLB opponents at Cashman Field like 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, Jim Thome, Mark Trumbo, Matt Williams.
The city of Las Vegas (or Clark County) is in limbo about the future of the 51s in Las Vegas.
The city wants to expand the adjacent convention center Cashman Center. But to do so the 51s need to move. There have been rumors about a possible move to nearby Summerlin and even Henderson NV has pitched for a AAA team but not much has been said about Henderson’s ballpark plan lately.