It’s a dirty job, but someone had to do it. Seems that the Mets swapped cities with the Toronto Blue Jays and traded up for their Triple-A franchise. Now, if you want to see the Mets’ next hot pitching prospect, Zack Wheeler, you’ll have to fly to Vegas.
But the Mets didn’t just acquire a new minor league city, they acquired a history–some might say a mystery. The team’s name is the 51s. You may catch reports on radio or TV during Mets games and wonder what the name means. Seems that 51 refers to Area 51, a remote part of Edwards Air Force Base, about 80 miles from Vegas, which is thought by UFO conspiracy theorists to be the place where alien aircraft were stored, their occupants were studied, and even living extraterrestrials were encountered.
Do the Mets take these rumors seriously? Well, one look at the 51s’ logo ought to answer that.
By the way, the 51s’ manager is Wally Backman, starting second baseman for the greatest of all Mets teams, the 1986 World Champions. Wally inherits the team that wasn’t bad last year, 79-64, 6.5 games out of first in the tough Pacific Coast League. If you’re vacationing in the town that Mo Green built out of a stopover for GIs on the way to the West Coast, drop by, shake hands with Wally, and buy a T-shirt graced with what is sure to be the hottest logo in the minor leagues.