I can’t recall any playoff predictions when the Las Vegas 51s signed an affiliation deal with the New York Mets last year, but that’s where the AAA team wound up following the 2013 season.
Team officials can credit the Mets minor league system, which got a boost when they traded Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey to the Toronto Blue Jays last December.
The Blue Jays had just ended their player development deal with the 51s, and, coincidentally, some of those traded to the Mets wound up right back in at Cashman Field.
Las Vegas 51s Media Relations Director Jim Gemma told me by phone Tuesday that the new affiliation not only led to a winning club, but helped the team surpass the 300-thousand mark in attendance, something they’ve done in every year of their existence.
“For 31 years now we’ve drawn over 300-thousand, it’s not easy in Vegas,” Gemma said.
The 70 dates at Cashman Field drew 328,266 fans for the 2013 season — an average of 4,690 per game. Gemma said turnout would have been higher if not for stormy weather in August.
The 51s’ two-year player development deal with the Mets expires after the 2014 season.
I wrote more about the 51s playoff push and how it played a role in Minor League Baseball’s season attendance in this article posted on FOX5Vegas.com.