Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2009 | 2 a.m.
Do the streets named for cities near the Stratosphere reflect the MLB standings of the teams in those cities at the time?
Local lore says that’s why Las Vegas has those short avenues named for New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Boston, Baltimore, Cleveland and Cincinnati.
The source for that explanation is early Las Vegas newspaper editor A.E. Cahlen, who noted in a column that the area’s developer had told him he used the baseball standings to name the streets in the mid-1930s. (Mark Hall-Patton, administrator of the Clark County Museum, cites Cahlen’s account in his new book on valley street names, “Asphalt Memories.”)
But there are a few reasons why Cahlen’s account can’t be entirely true.
Baltimore didn’t have a major-league team during that decade. The big-league Baltimore Orioles’ first season was in 1954.
Also the cities’ teams weren’t all in the same league. The Cincinnati Reds are in the National League, and the Cleveland Indians are in the American. (Boston, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia and St. Louis had teams in both leagues at the time.)
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CORRECTION: This story was changed to correct that the Baltimore Orioles’ first season was in 1954. | (August 6, 2009)