The Streak Marches On
The Dragons consecutive game sell-out streak continued through the 2017 season. After the final regular season home game on September 1, the streak stands at 1,247 consecutive sold-out games, an all-time record for sports in North America (see more on the sell-out streak below).
The Reds Futures Game at Fifth Third Field
The baseball season at Fifth Third Field officially opened on April 1st when the Cincinnati Reds played a collection of their best minor league prospects from the Triple-A, Double-A, and Single-A levels before a huge crowd of 8,837. The Reds defeated the Futures Team 5-1 as Scott Schebler, Stuart Turner, and Patrick Kivlehan all hit home runs for Cincinnati. Former Dragon Amir Garrett started the game for the Reds and tossed three scoreless innings. Luis Castillo, who would emerge later in 2017 as the Reds best starting pitcher, was on the mound for the Futures Team and allowed only one run over five and two-thirds innings. The "Futures Game" was the second of its kind at Fifth Third Field (the first took place in 2009).
Photo Gallary from Cincinnati.com: http://www.daytondailynews.com/sports/scenes-from-the-cincinnati-reds-futures-game-fifth-third-field/5TZHAtOyTrBOm6qwVF7rIN/
Story by Hal McCoy: http://www.mydaytondailynews.com/sports/hal-mccoy-baseball-works-dayton-who-knew/Zl8WTvDdYX9JSSdQGOWuyO/
The First Nine-Inning No-Hitter in Dragons History
On May 20th at Fifth Third Field, three Dragons pitchers combined for the first nine-inning no-hitter in Dragons history. Starting pitcher Scott Moss worked six innings, following by Carlos Machorro in his first game with the team. Machorro went two perfect innings, and Brian Hunter tossed a 1-2-3 ninth inning to complete the no-hitter against Bowling Green.
Dayton's Jose Siri Breaks a 40-Year Old Midwest League Record
Jose Siri produced a Midwest League record 39-game hitting streak that began with the first game of the second half on June 22 and ended on August 4. On July 31, Siri broke the 40-year-old Midwest League of 35 straight games set by Waterloo's Tony Toups in 1977. He broke the streak on an 0-2 pitch in his final at-bat of the game at Fort Wayne. After going 14 straight games with a hit within the first five innings from July 15-July 30, he went down to his final at-bat three times in the final four games of the streak.
Video and Story: http://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports/mlb/reds/2017/08/01/reds-prospect-jose-siri-sets-midwest-league-record-36-game-hitting-streak/527925001/
Siri batted .341 with 13 home runs and 32 RBI, 12 doubles, 3 triples, 8 stolen bases, and a .671 slugging percentage during the streak. Siri hit .461 on balls in play during the streak.
On July 14, he broke the team record of 20 set by Carlos Mendez in 2009. Siri also had a 50-game on-base streak from June 15-August 12 that was the longest in Minor League Baseball this season.
Siri's hitting streak received tremendous media attention throughout the region and over all of Minor League Baseball, including video highlights on Reds television broadcasts and radio replays on the Reds Radio Network.
Siri's Big Season
Jose Siri was selected as one of three outfielder on the full-season Midwest League All-Star Team as he turned in the best statistical season for a Dragons player since Austin Kearns in the team's inaugural year of 2000. Siri finished the year as the most prominent player on the league leader board, finishing first in the league in six major categories. Siri led the league in hits, runs, total bases, extra base hits, slugging percentage, and stolen bases while tying for the league lead in triples. He finished second in the league in home runs and fourth in runs batted in, yet somehow failed to receive the league's MVP award. His final slugging percentage of .530 was the second best in team history, trailing only Kearns from 2000. Siri was also selected by Baseball America as the league's "Best Defensive Outfielder" and "Fastest Base Runner."
The Dragons in the Midwest League Playoffs
The Dragons qualified for the Midwest League playoffs for the first time since 2011 and then set a club record for most post-season victories. By posting a first-half record of 41-29, the Dragons qualified for the playoffs as the East Division First Half Wildcard winner. The Dragons knocked off heavily-favored West Michigan in the first round of the playoffs, two-games-to-one, taking the decisive third game in an epic 11-inning battle that lasted nearly four hours. The Dragons won the first game of their second round (semi-final) series with Fort Wayne before dropping games two and three to end their post-season run.
Expanded Netting Announcement
With fan experience and safety in mind, the Dayton Dragons expanded netting in the seating area for the 2017 season. The new, expanded netting protects the seating areas of section 104 through section 116. Additionally, all existing netting was raised approximately eight feet in order to better shield fans seated in the club level and luxury suites.
Reconstruction of the AZEK Dragons Lair
The new AZEK Dragons Lair was constructed for the 2017 season. The new area allows groups to view the game from above the left field wall, featuring premium decking manufactured locally by AZEK Building Products. The all-inclusive package came with game tickets and a food spread featuring grilled hamburgers, all beef hot dogs, smoked pulled chicken, smoked pulled pork, mac and cheese, southern-style baked beans, watermelon, fresh-baked cookies, and unlimited non-alcoholic drinks. Everyone in the group also received a Dragons hat and Dragons t-shirt. The section was sold out for the year by June.
LCD Monitors in the Concourse
Fans noticed an upgrade to the video network located at Fifth Third Field in 2017. The Dragons partnered with Dayton-based Stratacache, a global video solutions provider, to create a new in-house video network consisting of 27 monitors spread throughout the stadium concourse. Above each concession stand, fans are able to see live game action on 75" high definition monitors. Flanking each of the 75" monitors are two additional monitors sharing sponsor and other Dragons event information.
View Article in Stadia Magazine: http://www.milb.com/documents/1/0/6/254072106/Stadia_Article_Dragons_and_Stratacache.pdf
Renovation of the Main Lobby and Suite Level at Fifth Third Field
Prior to the start of the 2017 season, the entire lobby area at Fifth Third Field was completely renovated. It now features an interactive LCD display with photos and anecdotes on every Dragons player to reach the Major Leagues, as well as new canvas prints on the walls. The hallways at the Luxury Suite level were also redecorated with canvas prints.
Dragons 5050 Raffle to Benefit the Dayton Dragons Foundation and the American Cancer Society
The Dragons 5050 Raffle saw the Dayton Dragons Foundation team up with the American Cancer Society to raise a lot of money for the two charities. This season, the 5050 Raffle raised more than $100,000 for charity, which also means that lucky Dragons fans walked home with more than $100,000 in prize winnings as well from the raffle. The season was highlighted by a one game raffle pot of nearly $8,000 at the Reds Futures Game in April, as well as a 4-day Rolling Raffle Pot of nearly $20,000 in August.
The Dragons season began on April 6. The regular season concluded on September 4 and the playoffs extended through September 11. Here are some of the facts and statistics:
The Dragons completed the 2017 regular season with an attendance total for the year of 554,638. Dayton averaged 8,038 per date over 69 home openings in 2017. The Dragons have led all of Single-A baseball in attendance in each of their 18 seasons.
Longest Sell-Outs Streaks in Professional Sports History
No. Team League Years
1,246 Dayton Dragons Minor League Baseball 2000-current
820 Boston Red Sox Major League Baseball 2003-'13
814 Portland Trail Blazers National Basketball Association 1977-'95
662 Boston Celtics National Basketball Association 1980-'95
610 Chicago Bulls National Basketball Association 1987-'00
Dayton Dragons 2017 Recap
Final Record: 71-69
First Half: 41-29 (2nd in Eastern Division)
Second Half: 30-40 (6th in Eastern Division)
Final Attendance: 554,638
Per Game Attendance Average: 8,038
2017 Dragons Midwest League All-Star Game Participants:
Tyler Stephenson (starting catcher)
Michael Beltre (starting designated hitter)
Scott Moss (pitcher)
Wennington Romero (pitcher)
Aaron Fossas (pitcher)
Tony Santillan (pitcher)
T.J. Friedl (outfielder-replaced due to promotion)
Dragons Midwest League Full Season All-Star (one player per position league-wide):
Jose Siri (outfielder)
Midwest League Player of the Month
Jose Siri: July
In July, Siri batted .344 with 10 home runs and 21 runs batted in. He led the Midwest League in home runs, hits (43), slugging percentage (.680), extra-base hits (19) and total bases (85). His 85 total bases led the league by 22.
Midwest League Batter/Pitcher of the Week
Ryan Olson (Pitcher) April 6-16 (First full week plus previous partial week)
Scott Moss (Pitcher) May 29-June 4
Jose Siri (Batter) June 19-25
Jose Siri (Batter) July 10-16
Taylor Sparks (Batter) August 21-27
Dragons on Baseball America's Midwest League "Best Tools" Survey
Minor League Baseball's trade publication, Baseball America, conducted a survey of Midwest League managers of the "best tools" in the circuit:
Best Managerial Prospect: Luis Bolivar, Dayton
Best Defensive Outfielder: Jose Siri, Dayton
Fastest Baserunner: Jose Siri, Dayton
2017 Dragons Team Leaders
Batting Average: Jose Siri, .293
Home Runs: Jose Siri, 24
Runs Batted In: Taylor Trammell, 77
Stolen Bases: Jose Siri, 46
Games Played: Taylor Trammell, 129
Victories: Scott Moss, 13
Earned Run Average (qualifier; min. 112 IP): Tony Santillan, 3.38
Saves: Joel Kuhnel, 11
Games Pitched: Joel Kuhnel, 48
Innings Pitched: Wennington Romero, 136
Strikeouts: Scott Moss, 156
Dragons as Midwest League Leaders
Runs: Jose Siri 1st
Total Bases: Jose Siri 1st
Slugging Pct. Jose Siri 1st
Extra Base Hits: Jose Siri 1st
Stolen Bases: Jose Siri 1st
Hits: Jose Siri 1st
Games: Taylor Trammell 1st
Triples: Jose Siri Tied-1st
Strikeouts (Pitcher) Scott Moss 1st
Games Pitched Joel Kuhnel 1st
Notable Dragons Performances
- The Dragons enjoyed an incredible first six weeks to the 2017 baseball season. After 43 games on May 21, the Dragons were 30-13. They had the most victories and highest winning percentage (.698) in all of Professional Baseball (30 MLB teams, 120 active Minor League teams). The Houston Astros of the American League and Lehigh Valley of the International League had 29 wins at the time to rank behind the Dragons. The Dragons went 19-4 from April 27-May 21.
- After losing their first two home games of the season, the Dragons went 18-2 at Fifth Third Field over the next 20 games. At the end of the First Half, the Dragons had tied the club record for home wins in a half by going 25-11 at Fifth Third Field.
- On April 8 at Lake County, the Dragons set the tone for their style of play by stealing eight bases in one game to tie a club record. Over the full season, the Dragons led the league in stolen bases with 166, 22 more than any other club. Individually, Jose Siri led the league with 46 to become only the second Dayton player to lead the league in steals (Billy Hamilton was the first in 2011). Taylor Trammell finished second in the league in steals with 41. Brantley Bell and T.J. Friedl also spent most of trhe first half in the top five in the league prior to their promotions at the midpoint of the season.
- On April 14, Dragons starting pitcher Ryan Olson tossed a nine-inning four-hit shutout at Great Lakes. It was the first nine-inning shutout in the month of April in Dragons history. On June 28 at West Michigan, Ty Boyles fired a three-hit shutout in a nine-inning game. These were just the second and third nine-inning shutouts for the Dragons over the last nine seasons.
- On May 25, T.J. Friedl hit three home runs in a single day. Friedl hit a home run in the final inning of a suspended game to begin that officially went in the books on May 24, the date the game began. Then Friedl hit two home runs in the regularly scheduled game that followed.
- Dragons reliever Jesse Adams put together an incredible scoreless streak from June 7 until August 6, a string of 18 straight scoreless appearances covering 24.2 innings. This was the longest Dragons scoreless streak since 2011.
- Jose Siri hit home runs in three consecutive games June 23-25 at Fifth Third Field against Lake County. Siri finished the season with 24 home runs to rank second in the league. His total for the year was the highest total for a Dragons player since 2007 when Juan Francisco hit 25.
- For the first time in Dragons history, the team won back-to-back games by at least 10 runs. On August 22-23 at Fifth Third Field, Dayton posted wins over Bowling Green of 12-0 and 11-1.
- The Dragons enjoyed a tremendous finish to the regular season. Over their last 21 games, they went 16-5 are they prepared for the playoffs. That stretch included nine road wins in 10 games.
- Jose Siri finished the season as the first Midwest League player since 1982 to belt at least 20 home runs and steal at least 40 bases. Taylor Trammell joined Siri as the first two players in Dragons history to hit at least 10 homers and steal at least 40 bases. Baseball America selected Siri and Trammell as two of the top 10 prospects in Minor League Baseball in terms of "Power and Speed" combination.
- Dragons starting pitcher Scott Moss became just the second player in Dragons history to lead the Midwest League in strikeouts. Moss finished with 156, 20 more than the second best total in the league.
Dragons Sports Turf Manager Britt Barry and his assistant Brandon Moravec were selected as the recipient of the 2017 Midwest League Sports Turf Manager/Grounds Crew of the Year Award. The Midwest League Field Managers selected the award winner based on quality of playing surface, infield/outfield turf, and preparation of field, quality of pitching mounds, home plate, bullpens, warning track and crew professionalism.
Other 2017 Highlights at Fifth Third Field:
Hometown Heroes Celebration Nights: Two times during the 2017 baseball season, the Dragons partnered with the Dayton Development Coalition and their partners to pay tribute to all service men and women associated with Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the Springfield Air National Guard Base. Festivities included the national anthem being performed by members of the United States Air Force, the presentation of the colors by the Wright Patterson Air Force Base Honor Guard, a showcase of equipment used in evacuation missions, and swearing in ceremonies for a group of local Air Force recruits. Dates were May 20 and August 5.
Home Run for Life: Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and the Dragons teamed up to provide five children battling serious medical conditions with once-in-a-lifetime opportunities during Dragons games. Each honoree got to take an honorary home run "lap" around the bases of Fifth Third Field during a game, high five the players from both teams, and receive an honorary bat from Dragons manager Luis Bolivar. Dates were May 31, June 14, July 19, August 2, and August 16.
Community All-Stars: For the fifth straight year, the Dragons partnered with Vectren to present the Dragons Community All-Stars Program honoring individuals who have gone above and beyond to improve the quality of life in the Miami Valley. Five of them appeared on the field during a game with a tribute video telling their story. Dates were May 12, June 13, July 24, August 4, and August 24.
High School Baseball: For the 12th consecutive season, the Dragons played host to high school baseball at Fifth Third Field. In April and May, 26 area high school teams participated in 13 games and raised over $30,000 for their athletic programs.
Dragons 5K: For the seventh time, the Dragons hosted a 5K run around downtown Dayton on July 15. Over 2,100 individuals participated in the 5K in 2017.
- Boy Scout Overnighter: May 12
- Great American Cleanup featuring Dragons players, mascots, and Green Team: May 20
- Kettering Health Network Strike Out Stroke Night: May 21
- Kettering Health Network Public Safety Day: July 2
- City of Dayton Fireworks: July 3
- Opening event of the Team Fastrax Warrior Weekend to Remember: July 20
- Girl Scout Overnighter: July 21
- Third Annual "Yoga in the Outfield": July 26
- Bob Ross Classic High School All-Star Game: July 29
- Montgomery County Board of Developmental Disabilities Services 9th Annual Baseball Clinic: August 2
- Kettering Health Network Breast Cancer Awareness Game: August 6
- Home Build on the Plaza in partnership with Habitat for Humanity and Coldwell Banker Heritage Realtors: August 5-8
- Great American Beer Tasting: August 12
- Donatos Pizza Movie Night: August 19
- Fifth Third Bank College Prep Night: Coming up September 27
Dragons in the Community (additional notes)
Dragons MVP Program
Now in more than 1,000 classrooms (nearly 33,000 students) in Clark, Greene, Montgomery, Warren and Miami Counties, the Dragons MVP Program gives 4th and 5th grade teachers once-in-a-lifetime awards to be able to reward and incent students in their classroom. The teachers are the sole judge and jury for how to distribute the awards from top achievers, to students turning a corner, to students who do something amazing in their community.
National Anthem Try-Outs
For the 18th straight year, the Dragons conducted the Dayton Daily News /Dayton Dragons National Anthem Tryouts in the pre-season. Auditions in 2017 were February 25 from at the Dayton Mall. Finalists performed the national anthem at Dragons games throughout the season, with the grand prize winner performing at Opening Day 2017 before the Dragons hosted the Lake County Captains at Fifth Third Field on April 6.
School Assembly Program
Heater and Gem along with the Dragons Green Team brought the excitement of baseball season to local elementary schools from late January into April. For the fifth straight year, the Dragons entertainment team performed assemblies at Miami Valley elementary schools. Each 30-minute interactive, fun, high-energy performance included a visit by Heater or Gem and members of the Green Team. Each assembly focused on the benefits of proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. The performances, typically held in the school gymnasium, include some of the same entertainment skits seen at the ballpark, plus some new material designed specifically for the schools.
Dragons Little Big Leagues presented by IGS Energy
The Dragons "Little Big Leagues" program, presented by IGS Energy, was a season-long program filled with amazing experiences for little leaguers and a chance for all fans to celebrate youth baseball. It included:
- A game between two Little League teams at Fifth Third Field: June 26
- Dragons Experience Youth Baseball Clinics presented by IGS Energy: June 14-15; July 20-21
- IGS Little League "Surprise Baseball Camp" at Patterson Park: July 22
- Little League parades at Fifth Third Field prior to Dragons games
Dragons Speaker's Bureau
For the 18th straight year, the Dayton Dragons Speaker's Bureau visited local service organizations, schools and universities, business organizations, and general interest groups to present the Dragons story. The presentation focused on the Dragons commitment to family entertainment, customer service, and community involvement as well as interesting baseball notes, such as the Dragons partnership with the Cincinnati Reds, former Dragons in the Major Leagues, the day in the life of a Minor League player, and more.
Six "Walks" at Fifth Third Field Coming up in 2017
Miami Valley Down Syndrome Association Buddy Walk: September 16
American Heart Association: September 23
Take Steps for Crohn's & Colitis: September 30
Walk to End Alzheimer's: October 7
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer: October 21
Free to Breathe Walk: October 22
National Entertainment Acts at Fifth Third Field
The Dragons home schedule in 2017 featured ten national entertainment acts. They included:
April 30: Russian Bar Trio, presented by Shipt.com
May 18: Team Zoom Canine Entertainment, presented by Dippin' Dots
May 21: Jesse White Tumblers
June 1: Team Zoom Canine Entertainment
June 3: BirdZerk!, presented by Franklin Equipment
June 4: ZOOperstars, presented by Great Clips
July 1: Xpogo Stunt Team
July 9: Jake the Diamond Dog, presented by Dippin' Dots
July 21: Team Zoom Canine Entertainment, presented by Franklin Equipment
August 6: Jesse White Tumblers, presented by The Red Cross
August 17: Team Zoom Canine Entertainment, presented by The Dublin Pub
In the National News
The Dragons were featured in a major story on Bleacher Report, a digital sports web site owned by Time Warner Inc's Turner Broadcasting System that has an audience of 250 million readers. The story focused on the Dragons sell-out streak and organizational success in attracting fans and creating a fun, family atmosphere at Fifth Third Field.
Boomer Esiason CBS Sports Minute
On September 6, Boomer Esaison, the former NFL star quarterback, featured the Dragons on national radio on the Boomer Esiason CBS Sports Minute, focuses on the Dragons attendance success and sell-out streak.
Robert Stephenson on MLB Network
Former Dragons pitcher Robert Stephenson, now with the Reds, talked about the Dragons experience in a national interview on the MLB Network.
For the 18th straight year, the Dragons utilized community non-profit groups to operate the concessions stands for every Dragons game at Fifth Third Field. With a percentage of each game's concessions revenue donated back to the non-profit groups who operate the stands, approximately $300,000 was raised in 2017 for those groups. Over the Dragons history, approximately $5.4 million has been donated to local non-profit groups. More than 40 non-profit organizations participate in the program.
Former Dragons who Made Major League Baseball Debuts in 2017 (91 total since 2000)
(All players debuted with Reds except Lively, who debuted with the Philadelphia Phillies)
FORMER DRAGONS WHO PLAYED FOR THE REDS IN 2017 (18)