Monday, April 2, 2012 | 2 a.m.
You won’t find a category for furthest home run hit in the Las Vegas 51s’ record book and there is no official record of how far this blast traveled.
But, when the name Kevin McReynolds is mentioned at Cashman Field, several longtime followers of Las Vegas ‘ Triple-A baseball affiliate will immediately mention his home run during the 1983 season over the scoreboard in left field. The shot, one of 32 home runs he slugged that season in 113 games before a big-league promotion, traveled an estimated 530 feet, according to reports.
McReynolds, who went on to a 12-year major league career, comes in at No. 1 in the Sun’s ranking of the top-30 players in franchise history on the club’s 30th anniversary in Las Vegas.
The inaugural season of 1983 featured a roster of several notables, but none impacted the lineup as significantly as McReynolds. The Stars posted a 45-26 record in the first half of the season, and some 30 years later, is still widely considered the best team in history. McReynolds batted .377 with 116 RBIs, 46 doubles and 14 stolen bases to anchor the lineup.
Several players off that team went on to great things in the major leagues, including McReynolds. While he wasn’t as productive as his year in Las Vegas, McReynolds belted 212 big-league home runs in 12 seasons. He hit more than 20 home runs in five straight seasons from 1986 to 1990, including a career-best 29 home runs in 1987 with 95 RBIs for the New York Mets.
He still holds the Las Vegas record for total bases with 328, while his .377 average ranks third best and his 46 doubles is second. Not bad considering he was with the San Diego Padres for the last month of the season.