Golf, pro baseball fit together like ball, glove

Updated September 4, 2018 - 12:41 pm

Golf and professional baseball enjoy a symbiotic relationship. Games on the diamond are mostly played at night, leaving the daylight for golf. That is most assuredly the case for Las Vegas 51s players, coaches and executives.

The 36-year reign of the 51s at Cashman Field ended Monday. In 2019, the AAA club will play in a new stadium adjacent to the Vegas Golden Knights practice facility and Downtown Summerlin.

Longtime club president and COO Don Logan is an eight handicap and worked tirelessly to make the new stadium a reality. On Friday, with tongue-in-cheek, he admitted the driving force behind the move.

“Now, I’ll be much closer to Canyon Gate, Bears Best, Red Rock, Siena, Palm Valley, Highland Falls and both TPC golf courses,” Logan said.

Over the years, Logan has seen many great baseball players and golfers come through Las Vegas. Among them: John Kruk, Greg Harris, Craig Colbert, Jerry Royster, Eric Gagne, Terry Collins, Tom Gamboa, Paul Sewald and Jeff McNeil, a second baseman now with the Mets.

“McNeil is a stupid good (golfer),” Logan said.

General manager Chuck Johnson, who lists his “job, swing and mind” as his handicap (in reality he is a solid 6.2), has also had a front row seat to baseball and golf talent.

“After all these years of playing golf with baseball players, I have yet to play with one that was a bad golfer,” Johnson said. “I have played with professional athletes of all types and I think they have an ability to quickly forget about the mistakes and move on. Whether it be a bad pitch that sails over the fence for a homerun or an interception. Time and time again I’ve seen athletes come right back and excel immediately after a bad shot or a bad hole.”

Even with all of the golf talk, Johnson was serious about the future.

“I am so happy and proud of Don,” Johnson said. “Nobody has spent more time working towards getting a new facility. Las Vegas Ballpark is his reward. It is also his gift to the fans, players and staff. He says frequently, that after the years of making Cashman Field work, in spite of all its challenges, the staff deserves to work in and enjoy this new building. The player and fan amenities will be the best in Minor League Baseball. We can’t wait to show it off.”

PGA Tour dreamers

Las Vegas’ Wyndham Clark secured his PGA Tour status for 2018-19 by finishing in the regular season money list top 25. His final ranking will be established after the Finals, which conclude Sept. 23 at the tour championship.

Others with Las Vegas ties needing a strong finish to move into the Finals 25 with two events remaining are Maverick McNealy (83), Chad Campbell (89) and John Oda (92).

Weekly deal

Through Sept. 7, get 25 percent off Shriners Hospitals for Children Open The Hill tickets.

Amateur stars

At the U.S. Amateur, former Rebels golfer Shintaro Ban finished tied for seventh in stroke play, but lost in the of 32 to Devon Bling.

At the Senior Amateur, SNGA member John Turk lost 3 and 1 in the round of 64.

The golf notebook appears Wednesdays. Freelance writer Brian Hurlburt is a two-time author who has covered golf in Las Vegas for more than two decades. He can be reached at or @LVGolfInsider.

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