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Big League Weekend to showcase Cubs, Rangers

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Updated: 12/03/2012 1:29 pm
LAS VEGAS – The Chicago Cubs will make their ninth straight appearance to Las Vegas for two games against the Texas Rangers on March 16 and 17 for the 2013 Big League Weekend at Cashman Field. Both games will have split-squads.

Big League Weekend ticket packages are available by calling the Las Vegas 51s office at (702) 798-7825.

The Cubs have recorded 14 sellouts over the past eight seasons (2005-12) for their annual Big League Weekend visits to Cashman Field.

“Once again we are excited to welcome Major League Baseball back to Las Vegas for the 23rd year of Big League Weekend,” Rossi Ralenkotter, President/CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, said in a news release. “It is great to have the Chicago Cubs and their fans back in town again in March, and we look forward to their rematch with the American League powerhouse Texas Rangers. Las Vegas and professional baseball have been great partners for more than two decades, and we’re ready for another great Big League Weekend.”

The Cubs, under manager Dale Sveum, compiled a 61-101 record (.377) in 2012 and finished in fifth place in the National League Central Division, 27 games behind the first-place Cincinnati Reds.

Starlin Castro, one of the most talented shortstops in the National League, will return for his fourth season. In 2012, he appeared in a team-high 162 games and batted .283 (183-for-646) with 29 doubles, 12 triples (ranked second in NL), 14 home runs, 78 RBI and 25 stolen bases in 38 attempts. Outfielder Alfonso Soriano appeared in 151 games and batted .262 (147-for-561) with 33 doubles and led the team in home runs (32) and RBI (108).

The Rangers, under manager Ron Washington, compiled a 93-69 record (.574) in 2012 and finished in second place in the American League Western Division, one game behind the Oakland A’s. The Rangers, in first place for the majority of the season, lost the division lead over the final weekend of the campaign against the A’s. Baltimore then defeated the Rangers, 5-1 on Oct. 5, in the Wild Card playoff game. Texas was the two-time American League Champions (2010-11) and advanced to the World Series.

Adrian Beltre, one of the premier third baseman, appeared in 156 games and ranked third in the American League with a .321 average (194-for-604) with 33 doubles, 36 home runs and 102 RBI. Outfielder Nelson Cruz, the 2008 PCL MVP, appeared in 159 games and batted .260 (152-for-585) with a team-high 45 doubles, 24 home runs and 90 RBI.

“We are excited to announce that the Cubs will return to Las Vegas for the ninth straight season,” 51s Executive Director Don Logan said. “The Chicago fans, both locally and the tourists that visit during this event, provide a great atmosphere in the ballpark. We also welcome the Texas Rangers for their second straight visit to Las Vegas. The Rangers are a class organization and have enjoyed great success with two World Series appearances over the last three seasons.”

-- From news release
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