Last week, while in Las Vegas, we were privileged to be granted press credentials for a game between the Las Vegas 51's and the Tacoma Rainiers. The teams are the Triple A affiliates of the New York Mets and the Seattle Mariners, respectively. My recap of the experience can be found on the Nevada Patch at On the Beat With the Las Vegas 51's.
I think the thing that struck me the most was the beauty of the tranquility and serenity of a night at Cashman Field just minutes away from the glitz and glamour of the Strip. They are polar opposites.
In my younger days, I did not appreciate minor league baseball. I only wanted the "real" baseball of the Major Leagues. As I have gotten older, I have grown to appreciate all sorts of baseball. Minor league ball even has some benefits that the MLB is missing.
Cashman Field was built in 1983. It is one of the oldest minor league fields and certainly would be older than most Major League parks, too. While it is missing some of the modern day amenities, it retains the warmth and feel of baseball of my youth. I don't need a dozen distractions at a game. I need a comfortable seat, good sightlines, scenic park and little else. Cashman Field met and surpassed those needs.
I opted to go to a game for the experience. I so loved that experience that I will be making a ballgame part of any trip during the baseball season.
Some of the fun is natural. It's a beautiful park. The weather is usually near perfect. It's a short drive away from the casinos, but it is worlds away in theory.
Some of the fun was aided by the wonderful staff at Cashman Field. From Media Rep Jim Gemma to every staffer there, the organization could not have been friendlier or more helpful. Lest you think their gestures were only aimed at a visiting journalist, I saw many examples of workers going above and beyond the call of duty to help fans.
Thank you to Global Traveler magazine and the Nevada Patch for this opportunity. Thank you to the Las Vegas 51's organization for their hospitality.
Hassan and me in Las Vegas, NV-May 2017.