The 1983 inaugural Pacific Coast League season was a memorable one in the city of Las Vegas. Triple-A baseball was born on April 10, 1983, before a sellout crowd of 10,622 at Cashman Field. The Stars, in their brown, gold and burnt orange uniforms, defeated Salt Lake City, 11-8. Catcher Bruce Bochy, former San Diego Padres manager and current skipper of the San Francisco Giants, hit the first home run in Cashman Field history. The first pitch was delivered by right-hander Andy Hawkins.
Las Vegas, under manager Harry Dunlop, posted a regular season record of 83-60 (.580), the team’s best mark which stood for 19 seasons until the 2002 51s broke the all-time record of 85-59 (.590). The Stars were the Triple-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres for 18 seasons (1983-2000).
The team featured outfielder Kevin McReynolds, one of the greatest players in franchise history. He was named the league MVP and appeared in 113 games and batted .377 with a team-record 46 doubles, 328 total bases (team record), 32 home runs and 116 RBI. McReynolds enjoyed a 12-year Major League career with San Diego (1983-86), New York Mets (1987-91, 1994) and Kansas City (1992-93).
The offense was potent and compiled a .290 average that included 172 home runs. The Stars established a team record with three players each to drive in 100 or more runs: McReynolds (116 RBI), first baseman Joe Lansford (.254, 27 HR, 116 RBI) and outfielder Jerry Davis (.298, 23 HR, 100 RBI).
The pitching staff possessed many young prospects in the Padres minor league system. Right-hander Steve Fireovid led the staff with a 14-10 record and innings pitched (184.2). Right-hander Floyd Chiffer was 10-4 and led the staff with 14 saves. Hawkins started 14 games and compiled a 6-4 record and right-hander Larry Rothschild, current pitching coach for the Chicago Cubs, was 9-2 in 38 appearances.
More importantly, the franchise established a solid fan base and became a very popular sports entity in the Silver State. The Stars averaged 4,878 fans for a total of 365,848 and promotion nights were a big hit with fans of all ages! Las Vegas advanced to the PCL Playoffs and lost to rival Albuquerque Dukes in the first round, 3-games-to-2.
The 1983 Stars helped propel the franchise to many years of success and has provided exciting family entertainment to the city for over two decades.
Born: April 10, 1983
Claim to Fame: The 1983 Stars averaged 4,878 fans for a total of 365,848.