Dayton, Ohio-The Dayton Dragons today announced the next name on their list of "20 Greatest Dragons." The player recognition is part of the organization's 20th Season Celebration. Players selected on the list of 20 are being announced in random order leading up to the Dragons 20th Opening Night game on Thursday, April 4 against the Bowling Green Hot Rods.
Next on the list of the 20 Greatest Dragons is:
Over the course of the Dragons 20-year history, Bolivar has worn a Dragons uniform in more than twice as many games as anyone else. In fact, as the 2019 season begins, he will have been in the Dragons dugout for eight of the team's 20 years. As a player, he was the Dragons shortstop in 2003-04. He returned as the Dragons hitting coach for three seasons from 2014-16. He was named Dragons manager in 2017, a position he continues to hold heading into the 2019 season.
As a player, Bolivar represented the Dragons in the Midwest League All-Star Game in 2004, his second year with the Dayton club. The highlight of his playing days in Dayton came on April 15, 2004, when he blasted a walk-off home run to defeat the Lansing Lugnuts at Fifth Third Field, just the third walk-off homer in franchise history at the time. In 2009, as a member of the Louisville Bats, Bolivar hit a home run at Fifth Third Field in the Reds Futures Game. His playing career continued through the 2010 season. In 2017, Bolivar became the first former Dragons player to serve as the team's manager, and he led the Dayton club into the second round of the Midwest League playoffs.
While playing for the Dragons, Bolivar met his future wife, Kelly, at a Dragons game. They settled in the Dayton suburb of Vandalia and have become members of the local community. The Bolivars now have four children. Following his career as a player, Luis began coaching baseball at Vandalia-Butler High School before taking a coaching position with the Reds. In 2017, Luis, a native of Venezuela, officially became an American citizen in a courthouse ceremony that was attended by every player and coach on that season's Dragons team.
Bolivar joins the following players who have been previously announced as the 20 Greatest Dragons: Austin Kearns, Zack Cozart, Justin Turner, Homer Bailey, Samone Peters, Devin Mesoraco, Didi Gregorius, Tucker Barnhart, Todd Frazier, Wily Mo Peña, Jesse Winker, Edwin Encarnacion, and Johnny Cueto.
The 20 Greatest Dragons were selected based on a media vote of Dragons television, newspaper, radio, and internet reporters. Additionally, during the 2019 season, the Dragons will be conducting a fan vote featuring one player per position to announce their all-time greatest lineup.
The Dragons will host their "20th Season Celebration Game" on Saturday, March 30 at 2:00 p.m. at Fifth Third Field. The game will match the 2019 Dragons ("Team 20") against a team of Dragons alumni who are still playing in the Cincinnati Reds minor league system.
Individual game tickets for the Dragons 20th Season Celebration Game are available now. Go to daytondragons.com/celebrationgame or Ticketmaster.com.
Additional information on the Dragons 20th Season celebration including videos on the 20 Greatest Dragons, special 20th Season merchandise, and Dragons alumni listings is available here: https://www.milb.com/dayton/team/20.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.