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‘Sports’

Take in a ballgame and enjoy the buffet at Cashman Field

Club level view Cashmam‏n Field

Club level view Cashma‏n Field

It is with a certain degree of reluctance that I write this article. My reluctance stems from wanting to share something my wife Donna Rose and I really enjoy, but if too many people find out, it might change. Hopefully not. What I am talking about is the Club Level Restaurant at the Las Vegas 51s baseball games at Cashman Field.

We love to go to the baseball games and have gone for over 20 years. We would definitely describe ourselves as fans. When we were younger I loved to scarf down a couple of hot dogs, peanuts, popcorn, nachos, fries. You know, baseball snacks. As the years went by, I slowly lost my enthusiasm for eating all this junk. It’s all hard to digest, and it doesn’t taste the same.

So, the dilemma: love baseball, can’t eat the junk food. It was time to do some stadium exploring. Donna and I wondered around until we came to a sign that said Club Level Restaurant, under which was an ordinary door. We wondered if you had to have reservations. “Maybe it’s just for season tickets holders,” I suggested. “We’ll never find out standing out here,” Donna replied. Well, I thought…I’ve been tossed out of nice places than this. Any journalist worth their salt has been thrown out of nice places. Besides, what if we didn’t get tossed? We might have a decent meal.

We opened the door to a very cozy room of fans. Off to the right is a bar where you can order beer or mixed drinks. To the left is a small but quite nice buffet. There is a soup and salad bar along with a carving station, hot entrees and side dishes. For instance, Donna and I attended a game during the last 51s home stand. That night the buffet had oven roasted turkey breast, pork loin with apple chutney, salmon steak with lemon butter sauce, wild rice and mixed vegetables. The food for the buffet is prepared in the small central kitchen.

The buffet is only $9.95 plus you get an air-conditioned, glass-enclosed seat. Now, my reluctance to let you know about this. This area is part of the original Cashman Field which is now over 30 years old. It is one of those extraordinary places really, truly is Old Las Vegas, even down to the people who work there. Jim LaRocca is now in his 20th season with the 51s. He is the restaurant greeter. Elena Travanti, the cashier, was asked back to work her 12th season. The buffet typically draws 250 people a night. The average stadium attendance is 5,000. You can see it’s a small group.

Friendly Springtime Faces: Jim LaRocca and Elena Travanti will serve you at Cashman Field’s Club Level Restaurant

Friendly Springtime Faces: Jim LaRocca and Elena Travanti will serve you at Cashman Field’s Club Level Restaurant

So next time you take in a ball game, don’t settle for hot dogs and nachos. Go up to the Club Level Restaurant and enjoy a good meal while you watch the game. Just keep it a secret.

Baseball’s Don Logan excited about Mets-51s affiliation

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The Las Vegas 51s professional baseball team of the Pacific Coast League (PCL) have signed a new two-year Player Development Contract with the New York Mets, member of the Major League Baseball’s National League East. “We are excited to welcome the Mets as our new Triple-A affiliate,” 51s Executive Director Don Logan stated in a recent SDLV interview. “The Mets have a national fan base; they have the potential to bring a new level of enthusiasm.”

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Las Vegas 51s Executive Director Don Logan

Don Logan, a personable and well-recognized local figure, now enters his 30th season with the Las Vegas professional baseball franchise. He possesses a vast background and knowledge of both the game of baseball and the Las Vegas sports scene

He began his career with the franchise as an account executive in 1984. A native of Tonopah, he quickly moved his way up the front office ladder and was promoted to assistant general manager in 1986. He held that position for the next four seasons, before being named general manager in 1991. He then was named President of the 51s on Jan. 3, 2000, in addition to his responsibilities as general manager. During his tenure, he has earned the respect as not only one of the most influential sports executives in Las Vegas, but in all of professional baseball. He is an inductee to the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame.

“I knew even as a kid growing up in that I wanted a career in sports,” Logan noted. He played a variety of sports in Tonopah, where his father was the school principal. After high school, Don played baseball at Dixie State College and then at Utah State University. “I consider myself to be a natural-born leader, and baseball in Las Vegas gave me the opportunity to learn and accomplish things I had always wanted to do.”

One continuing frustration is that Cashman is an old stadium, but so far building a new facility has proven to be an impossible goal. “We have historically been the most successful professional sports team in Las Vegas,” Logan noted. “Las Vegas is one of the world’s great towns. We should have a sports stadium at least on par with Albuquerque.”

The Mets have three outstanding prospects who will start the 2013 season with the Las Vegas team. Don Logan is optimistic that Zack Wheeler, Wilmer Flores and Travis d”Arnold will all do well at the AAA level.

The new season begins April 12. For tickets and more information, go to www.milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t400