Dayton Dragons

The Dayton Dragons are a Minor League Baseball team of the Midwest League and the High-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. They are located in Dayton, Ohio, and play their home games at Day Air Ballpark, formerly known as Fifth Third Field. In 2011, they broke the record for most consecutive sellouts by a professional sports team, selling out their 815th consecutive game, breaking the record formerly held by the Portland Trail Blazers.[1][2]

Dayton Dragons
Team logo Cap insignia
Minor league affiliations
ClassHigh-A (2021–present)
Previous classesClass A (1988–2020)
LeagueMidwest League (2022–present)
DivisionEast Division
Previous leagues
Major league affiliations
TeamCincinnati Reds (1999–present)
Previous teams
Minor league titles
League titles (0)None
Division titles (6)
  • 1988
  • 1993
  • 1994
  • 2001
  • 2011
  • 2021
Team data
NameDayton Dragons (2000–present)
Previous names
  • Rockford Reds (1999)
  • Rockford Cubbies (1995–1998)
  • Rockford Royals (1993–1994)
  • Rockford Expos (1988–1992)
MascotsHeater, Gem, and Wink
BallparkDay Air Ballpark (2000–present)
Previous parks
Marinelli Field (1988–1999)
Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
Palisades Arcadia Baseball LLC
General managerRobert Murphy
ManagerBryan LaHair

The Dragons came to Dayton in 2000 as the franchise was relocated from Rockford, Illinois. The franchise was previously known as the Rockford Expos (then Royals, Cubbies, and Reds). In 2021, the Dragons and 11 other teams that had previously competed in the Midwest League entered the High-A Central as Major League Baseball completed a large restructuring of the minor leagues. This was a temporary name change, with the historical "Midwest League" moniker returning for the 2022 season.[3]

Day Air Ballpark

The team's home park is Day Air Ballpark in Dayton, formerly (until 2020) known as Fifth Third Field. During its first season, the Dragons set a Minor League Baseball Class-A single-season attendance record of 581,853. The Dragons broke that record in 2003 and again in 2004.[4] The Dragons broke the record again in 2010 with a season attendance total of 597,433, which still stands as the Class-A record.

The Dragons have averaged 8,258 fans per game over their 21-year history (through the 2021 season). They have led the Class-A level in attendance in every year of their existence and have finished first among all teams below the Triple-A level for 15 straight seasons from 2006 to 2019 and in 2021 (there was no season in 2020).[5]

On July 9, 2011, the Dragons officially set a new record of 815 consecutive sellout games.[6] The sellout streak is the longest across all professional sports in the US, passing the previous record set by the Portland Trail Blazers from 1977–1995.[7][8] On May 10, 2014, the streak of consecutive sellouts reached 1,000 games. According to the official team website, every home game in the team's first 20 years (prior to the canceled 2020 season) was a sellout.[9] The streak now stands at 1,385 consecutive sold-out games, an all-time record for sports in North America.[10]

In 2020, the team's stadium was renamed from Fifth Third Field to Day Air Ballpark.[11]

Ownership

In 2014, the founding ownership group, Peter Guber's Mandalay Baseball Properties, sold the team to Palisades Arcadia Baseball LLC, led by Greg Rosenbaum, Nicholas Sakellariadis, and Michael Savit.[12]

Achievements

  • The Dragons have led the Midwest League and all of Single A baseball in total season attendance in each of their 18 seasons.[13]
  • In 2000, Dragons President Robert Murphy received the Midwest League Executive of the Year Award. He received the award again in 2012.[14]
  • In 2004, the Dragons were selected as the winner of the Bob Freitas Award by Baseball America (top Class-A franchise).[14]
  • In 2007, the Dragons were selected as one of the "10 Hottest Tickets in Sports" by Sports Illustrated.[15]
  • On July 9, 2011, the Dragons set a new record for most consecutive sold-out games (815 total) in all of professional sports.[16] As of the end of the 2018 season, the still-in-progress record stands at 1,316 straight games.[17]
  • In 2011, Ballpark Digest named the Dragons the "Minor League Baseball Organization of the Year."[18] This honor came during a year in which they set the all-time professional sports sellout streak of 815 (they finished the season at 843 consecutive sellouts); finished 1st in the Midwest League Eastern Division and had the overall best Midwest League record (.593); set franchise records for wins (83–57), wins in a half (48–22 during the second half, which was also the best record among the 80 teams in the seven full-season Minor League Baseball leagues that split their seasons), road wins (38), and wins in a month (22 in August); set franchise records for team ERA (3.39) and shutout wins (14); set a Midwest League pitching record for strikeouts (1,292); and set a franchise record for stolen bases (224, including 103 by shortstop Billy Hamilton, which was the 9th highest total ever for a Minor Leaguer).[19][20][21]
  • In 2012, the Dragons were a finalist team for the Sports Business Journal "Professional Sports Team of the Year."[22]
  • In 2012, the Dragons franchise was selected as the winner of the John H. Johnson President's Trophy.[23] The winning team, chosen from all minor league teams (Single A, Double A, and Triple A), is chosen by the president of Minor League Baseball and given to "the complete baseball franchise—based on franchise stability, contributions to league stability, contributions to baseball in the community, and promotion of the baseball industry." Only two other Midwest Leagues teams have received this award.[24]
  • In 2016, Forbes listed the Dragons as the third-most valuable Minor League Baseball team with a value of $45 million, making them the most valuable Class A minor league franchise.[25]
  • In 2016, Dragons Vice President of Sponsor Services Brandy Guinaugh was named the Rawlings Woman Executive of the Year for all of Minor League Baseball[26]
  • In 2016, 2017, and 2018, the Dragons have been the Midwest League nominee for Minor League Baseball's Charles K. Murphy Patriot Award for outstanding support of U.S. Armed Forces and Veterans.[27]
  • In 2018, the Dragons were selected by Dayton Business Journal as the Miami Valley's Customer Service Business of the Year.[28]
  • In 2018, Robert Murphy, Dragons President & General Manager, was selected by Baseball America as the Minor League Baseball Executive of the Year.[29]
  • The Dragons have hosted the Midwest League All-Star Game two times, in 2001 and 2013.[30]

Season-by-season records

SeasonRegular SeasonPostseason
WonLostWin %FinishWonLostWin %Result
2000 7067.5114th in MWL East23.400Defeated West Michigan in League Quarterfinals, 2–1
Lost to Michigan in League Semifinals, 0–2
2001 8257.5902nd in MWL East22.500Defeated Lansing in League Quarterfinals, 2–0
Lost to South Bend in League Semifinals, 0–2
2002 7367.5214th in MWL East02.000Lost to West Michigan in League Quarterfinals, 0–2
2003 6178.4396th in MWL EastDid not Qualify
2004 4892.3436th in MWL EastDid not Qualify
2005 6079.4326th in MWL EastDid not Qualify
2006 6773.4795th in MWL EastDid not Qualify
2007 7862.5573rd in MWL East12.333Lost to South Bend in League Quarterfinals, 1–2
2008 6672.4782nd in MWL East22.500Defeated Lansing in League Quarterfinals, 2–0
Lost to South Bend In League Semifinals, 0–2
2009 5980.4254th in MWL EastDid not Qualify
2010 5385.3848th in MWL EastDid not Qualify
2011 8357.5931st in MWL East12.333Lost to Lansing In League Quarterfinals, 1–2
2012 6078.4358th in MWL EastDid not Qualify
2013 6574.4686th in MWL EastDid not Qualify
2014 6870.4933rd in MWL EastDid not Qualify
2015 7168.5115th in MWL EastDid not Qualify
2016 4793.3368th in MWL EastDid not Qualify
2017 7169.5074th in MWL East33.500Defeated West Michigan in League Quarterfinals, 2–1
Lost to Fort Wayne in League Semifinals, 1–2
2018 5880.4208th in MWL EastDid not Qualify
2019 58 82 .414 7th in MWL East Did not Qualify
2020 0 0 .000 Season Canceled No Playoffs
2021 6555.542T-1st in High-A Central EastDid not Qualify
TOTAL1,3051,456.4731116.407

Major league alumni

Through the 2021 season, 117 Dragons players have gone on to play in Major League Baseball since the team's move to Dayton in 2000. The following are notable players whose minor league career included playing for the Dayton Dragons, including the years they played in Dayton.

Managers and coaches

The Dragons have had 10 managers in their history:

  • Freddie Benavides (2000)
  • Donnie Scott (2001–2003, 2007–2008)
  • Alonzo Powell (2004–2005)
  • Billy Gardner, Jr. (2006)
  • Todd Benzinger (2009–2010)
  • Delino DeShields (2011–2012)
  • José Nieves (2013–2015)
  • Dick Schofield (2016)
  • Luis Bolivar (2017–19)
  • José Moreno (2021)

Additionally, past Dragons coaching staffs have included three inductees into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame as players:

Media

Radio: All Dragons home and road games are broadcast on radio on 980 WONE, with Tom Nichols as the lead broadcaster. The broadcasts are also available via the internet at daytondragons.com and wone.com and on mobile devices via the Dragons mobile app. Dragons radio broadcasts moved to WONE starting with the 2011 season after Dragons games aired on WING 1410 AM from 2003-2010 and on WHIO 1290 AM from 2000–2002. Nichols has served as the Dragons Director of Broadcasting and lead play-by-play announcer since the 2008 season. Mike Vander Woude was the team's primary broadcaster from 2000–2007. All home and road games have been broadcast throughout the Dragons history.

Television: The Dragons have televised 25 games per season since the 2011 season with Dragons Director of Broadcasting Tom Nichols serving as the lead announcer. In 2016, telecasts moved to WBDT (Dayton's CW) as games appeared on an over-the-air network station for the first time in Dragons history.[31] Since the 2016 season, WDTN sports director Jack Pohl has teamed with Nichols on Dragons television broadcasts. From 2001–2010, the Dragons television schedule included 15 games per season before the number of broadcasts was increased to 25 in 2011. The Dragons televised five games in their inaugural season of 2000. Dragons games were televised on WHIO-TV digital channel 7.2 (Time Warner Cable channels 23 and 372) from 2009–2015.[32] Games were televised on Time Warner Cable from 2000–2008. Over the years, Dragons color commentators on television broadcasts have included Joe Nuxhall, Ken Griffey Sr., Tom Browning, Ron Oester, Bill Doran, Tommy Helms, Todd Benzinger, Doug Bair, Jeff Reboulet, and Hal McCoy, among others.[33]

Roster

Players Coaches/Other

Pitchers

  • 18 Frainger Aranguren
  • 17 Donovan Benoit
  • 12 Sam Benschoter
  • 36 Dennis Boatman
  • 34 Manuel Cachutt
  • 15 Thomas Farr
  • 19 Myles Gayman
  • 31 Jake Gilbert
  • 21 Jake Gozzo
  • 37 Steve Hajjar
  • -- Brian Hunter ‡
  • -- Andrew Jordan ‡
  • 27 James Marinan
  • 20 Miguel Medrano
  •  3 Chase Petty
  • 37 James Proctor ‡
  •  9 Jacques Pucheu †
  • -- Patrick Raby ‡
  • 35 Javi Rivera
  • 23 Christian Roa
  • 28 Braxton Roxby
  • 32 Jayvien Sandridge
  • 14 Vin Timpanelli

Catchers

  •  5 Matheu Nelson
  • 16 Michael Trautwein
  • 25 Garrett Wolforth

Infielders

  •  6 Tyler Callihan
  •  4 Rece Hinds
  • 29 Steven Leyton
  • 10 Noelvi Marte
  •  2 Jose Torres
  • 38 Michel Triana

Outfielders

  • 24 Jay Allen II
  • 22 Ashton Creal
  •  7 Austin Hendrick
  • 11 Justice Thompson


Manager

Coaches

60-day injured list

  • -- Bryce Bonnin
  • -- Matt Gill
  •  6 Rece Hinds
  • 40 Ruben Ibarra
  • 78 Lyon Richardson
  • -- Johnnie Schneider

7-day injured list
* On Cincinnati Reds 40-man roster
~ Development list
# Rehab assignment
∞ Reserve list
‡ Restricted list
§ Suspended list
† Temporarily inactive list
Roster updated August 23, 2022
Transactions
→ More rosters: MiLB  Midwest League
→ Cincinnati Reds minor league players

Player milestones in Dayton Dragons history

  • Austin Kearns hit home runs in eight consecutive games from July 17–24, 2000.[34]
  • In 2002, Bobby Basham pitched three consecutive nine-inning complete game shutouts for the Dragons. Over 27 innings, he allowed just two walks with 34 strikeouts and surrendered only 11 hits.
  • Donald Lutz became the first and only Dragons player to hit for the cycle on July 21, 2011, vs. the Peoria Chiefs. He did it in reverse order within the first five innings of the game (home run, triple, double, single).
  • Billy Hamilton became the first player in the history of the Cincinnati Reds organization to compile at least 100 stolen bases in a season when he stole 103 in 2011.
  • Seth Mejias-Brean hit an ultimate grand slam home run (game-ending home run with team trailing by three runs) to defeat Beloit on July 18, 2013. Mejias-Brean's walk-off homer came with one out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th, trailing 6–3.[35]
  • On May 20, 2017, three Dayton pitchers combined for the first nine-inning no-hitter in Dragons history. Scott Moss, Carlos Machorro, and Brian Hunter combined to no-hit the Bowling Green Hot Rods.
  • On July 31, 2017, José Siri extended his hitting streak to 36 consecutive games to break the Midwest League record that had stood since 1977 (Tony Toups, Waterloo, 35). Siri's streak eventually reached 39 straight games.[36]

References

  1. "Dragons Break All-Time Sports Sell-Out Record". Dayton Dragons News. Milb.com. April 18, 2012. Retrieved July 15, 2012.
  2. "Dayton Dragons Break Sellout Record". WHIOtv.com. July 11, 2011. Archived from the original on February 9, 2013. Retrieved July 15, 2012.
  3. "Historical League Names to Return in 2022". Minor League Baseball. March 16, 2022. Retrieved March 16, 2022.
  4. "History | Midwest League About". Web.minorleaguebaseball.com. Retrieved July 15, 2012.
  5. "Dragons Lead Class-A in Attendance Again". Dayton Dragons. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  6. "Dragons Break All-Time Sports Sell-Out Record". milb.com. Retrieved July 10, 2011.
  7. "Dayton Dragons all time professional sellout streak MLB".
  8. Neumann, Thomas (July 8, 2011). "Dayton Dragons break Portland Trail Blazers' sellout streak". ESPN.com. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
  9. "Dragons Sell-Out Streak Reaches 1,000". milb.com. May 10, 2014.
  10. "Dragons 2018 Season Review" (PDF). milb.com. September 7, 2018.
  11. Gnau, Thomas (January 29, 2020). "Dayton Dragons to rename stadium Day Air Ballpark". WHIO-TV. Archived from the original on January 29, 2020. Retrieved January 29, 2020.
  12. "Focus is on Dayton, Dragons' new owners say". Dayton Daily News. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
  13. "Crunching the 2011 Minor League Baseball attendance figures | News". Ballparkdigest.com. September 12, 2011. Retrieved July 15, 2012.
  14. Wilson, Reggie (November 29, 2018). "Dragons' Robert Murphy named Minor League Baseball Executive of the Year". Dayton 24/7 Now. Sinclair Broadcast Group. Retrieved October 4, 2021.
  15. "About the Dayton Dragons".
  16. Samuels, Holly. "Dragons knock record out of the park". Dayton Daily News. Archived from the original on July 11, 2011. Retrieved July 10, 2011.
  17. "Dragons Attendance again High in National Rankings". milb.com. September 10, 2015. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  18. Dragons Selected as Organization of the Year. Dayton.dragon.milb.com (August 23, 2011). Retrieved on September 23, 2011.
  19. Dragons enter playoffs with best record in team history. Daytondailynews.com (September 6, 2011). Retrieved on September 23, 2011.
  20. Dragons End Regular Season with Record-Breaking Win. Web.minorleaguebaseball.com (September 5, 2011). Retrieved on September 23, 2011.
  21. Dragons pitchers set MWL record. Daytondailynews.com (September 4, 2011). Retrieved on September 23, 2011.
  22. "Dragons are finalist for team of the year award". milb.com. Retrieved April 12, 2012.
  23. Jablonski, David (November 20, 2012). "Dragons Claim Minor League Baseball's Top Honor". Daytona Daily News. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
  24. Major Award Winners, milb.com
  25. Klebnikov, Sergei (July 8, 2016). "Minor League Baseball's Most Valuable Teams – 3. Dayton Dragons". Forbes. Retrieved September 23, 2016.
  26. "Dayton Dragons vice president wins top minor league award". Dayton Daily News. November 10, 2016. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  27. "Dragons Support of Military Nominated for Award". DaytonDragons.com. October 3, 2017. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  28. "Dragons Honored by DBJ as Customer Service Business of the Year". DaytonDragons.com. November 8, 2018. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
  29. "Robert Murphy Crafts a Culture of Success". BaseballAmerica.com. November 29, 2018. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  30. "Dragons land 2013 Midwest League All-Star Game". BallparkDigest.com. June 22, 2012. Retrieved July 15, 2012.
  31. Pendleton, Marc F. (March 21, 2016). "Dragons partner with CW". Dayton Daily News. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
  32. Katz, Marc (April 3, 2009). "Dragons like their viewership chances". Dayton Daily News. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
  33. Dragons on TV Wednesday, milb.com, August 26, 2014.
  34. Thrasher, Don (April 10, 2015). "Dayton Dragons: The History of a Beloved Hometown Team". Dayton Daily News. mydaytondailynews.com. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
  35. "Dayton Dragons 2017 Media Guide" (PDF). April 1, 2017. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
  36. Rosecrans, C. Trent (July 31, 2017). "Reds prospect Jose Siri sets Midwest League record with 36-game hitting streak". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Cincinnati.com. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
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