Cashman Field, Las Vegas, NEVADA
Number of states: 12
States to go: 38
Number of games: 1
First game: April 6, 2006 (Las Vegas 51s 7, Fresno Grizzlies 2)
(Click on any image to see a larger version.)
2006 marked my third trip to Las Vegas. I had been twice earlier for my fantasy football league’s draft (recommended…nothing’s more fun than drafting on a Saturday, then watching all the games at the same time on a Sunday), and as a result, all I had ever experienced of Las Vegas–and, for that matter, of Nevada–was the airport and the
First, let me state a point of confusion. I’m not 100% sure what the name of this place is. The signs on the outside call it Cashman Stadium, but the 51’s website refers to it as Cashman Field. The place is obviously in the midst of some terrible identity crisis. With contradictory information, I’m going to go with “Field.” The place is fairly small, and therefore feels more like a field than a stadium to me.
The most important part of my ballpark rankings is regional feel. I want there to be no question where in the U.S. I am when I’m sitting in the stands of a ballpark. What would that look like in Vegas? Slots? Showgirls? Garish neon? That’s not exactly a good
So while “quiet oasis” isn’t exactly what one thinks of when one thinks of Las Vegas, I like the feel and will rank it high in the “regional feel” category. When I’m in Las Vegas, my brain can only handle three days of the sensory overload, and even then, I can get a little overwhelmed by the constant lights and BINGBINGBINGBINGBING sounds of the place. Surely I’m not the only tourist who feels that way. Unfortunately, we’ve grown to have almost as much bingbingbing in our ballparks as at a Vegas casino. When I’m enjoying high-quality AAA baseball, I don’t need it. Cashman Field recognizes this, and even winks at Vegas’ reputation with a cool “only in Vegas” advertising that rings the inside of the ballpark (things like “We love the night games” and “All hits, all the time.”) The net result was a positive night at the ballpark.
Architecturally, the place has positives and negatives. Like all three of the warm-weather ballparks Lake Elsinore, I realized they were actually just preventing eight-year-old boys from beating the crap out of each other, a common activity on such hills. On the negative side, its setting is well north of the strip and downtown, and it adjoins a
Cashman Field has the kind of history-of-baseball-in-the-area stuff I like on its concourse, but they do some things that make it not as nice as it is in places where it’s done well (like Wichita or Spokane). They have a number of past greats for the Las Vegas Stars and other minor league ballclubs from the city, which I enjoyed, especially because I had not heard of so many of the ballplayers, such as Paul Faries. They had Dodgers history mapped out as well. Even though the 51s are a Dodger affiliate, I didn’t care for these. I love Jackie Robinson and all, but because his story does not involve Las Vegas, his tribute seemed out of place. And it certainly seemed out of place when their walk of fame also featured famous movie aliens. Yes, that’s right…Tommy Lasorda is in the Hall of Fame with Jabba the Hut. I’m all for wackiness, but this has all the markings of a ballclub and stadium that is simply trying too hard. Ease up, guys. This sort of stuff is out of character for a ballpark where, for the most part, they let the baseball be the star.
Speaking of trying too hard, let’s talk for a second about the nickname
Opening Day 2006 in the minors meant there were replacement umpires on the field. The minor league umpires, after not enjoying a pay raise in nearly a decade, were given an offer whose
This was the background for a fascinating conversation I overheard. A young guy in the stands came down to the front row during warmups and called some 51s player over. He was a striking ump. The players were very friendly and supportive; I think they were worried about what they’d see in the replacements. Also, many of them had likely risen through the minors alongside these umps. The players asked what they could do to help the umps. The ump said “Don’t go crazy, but if you could make it clear you don’t like a call, that’d help a lot.” Sure enough, there was an ejection that day…a Fresno player got run for arguing a called third strike. I feel like I know why.
This night also marked the first time my travels overlapped with the travels of someone else trying to make it to all the ballparks. I met Doug and Carrie. They’re a married couple
So, on the whole, a nice quiet night at a place where the baseball was in the foreground. It wasn’t a perfect ballpark, but on the whole, I felt like the 51s understood what a night at the ballpark should be about.
Regional feel: 8/10
I’m going against the grain on this one. The ballpark was not much at all what I picture Las Vegas to be, except for the lovely desert mountain views. But that’s what I liked about it, actually, so that’s why I give it a high score here. If Vegas is a desert of noise, this place was an oasis of quiet baseball.
Occasionally overblown in this department.
Very few promotions, which I like for AAA ball, but still enough appropriate distraction if that’s what one likes.
Team mascot/name: 1/5
Cosmo and me. Don’t like the name at all–never let your marketing be so transparent. And this guy is goofy-looking.
The park itself is a bit dumpy, but the mountain views are lovely.
Pavilion area: 3.5/5
Missed a key scoring decision, and the scoreboard guy was a hair slow at times.
This part was bizarre. Perhaps most surprisingly, most of the fans around me weren’t from Las Vegas. Not at all surprisingly, most of the fans on Dollar Beer Night were smashed and idiotic. Doug and Carrie actually brought this score up a point.
I just kept enjoying how quiet it was, and what a nice break it was from the bingbingbing.
BASEBALL STUFF I’VE SEEN HERE:
The Grizzlies’ Brad Hennessey gives up 7 runs, but only 1 of them is earned due to 2 errors by his teammate Tomas de la Rosa’s 2 errors.