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December 2018
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‘Minor League Baseball’ Articles

Dragons 3B Santana earns Cincinnati Reds Minor League Community Service honor




Leandro Santana

Dayton, Ohio-Dayton Dragons infielder Leandro Santana has been selected as the Cincinnati Reds 2018 Minor League Community Service award winner. The Reds announced their Minor League player awards at RedsFest.

Santana spent the entire 2018 season with the Dragons. He was selected for the award based on his efforts in Dayton this season as a volunteer as part of various Dragons community service endeavors.

Santana became the seventh Dragons player to win the Reds Minor League Community Service Award since 2011. The award is given to only one player each year across all levels of the Reds farm system. Previous Dragons winners of the Reds Community Service Award were Drew Hayes(2011), El’Hajj Muhammad (2012), Brent Peterson (2013), Jon Matthews (2014), Avain Rachal(2015), and Aaron Fossas (2017).

Also at RedsFest, the Reds named the following Minor League player awards: Sheldon “Chief” Bender Minor League Player of the Year: Ibandel Isabel; Minor League Hitter of the Year: T.J. Friedl; Minor League Pitcher of the Year: Tony Santillan. Friedl and Santillan are both former Dragons. Friedl spent the first half of the 2017 season with the Dragons, while Santillan spent all of 2017 in Dayton after briefly pitching for the Dragons in 2016.

The Reds Minor League Player of the Year award is named after Sheldon “Chief” Bender, who worked in professional baseball for 64 years, 39 of those with the Reds. Bender oversaw the Reds farm system from 1967-’88, producing stars such as Ken Griffey Sr., Dave Concepcion, Ron Oester, Mario Soto, Eric Davis, Barry Larkin, Chris Sabo, Paul O’Neill, and countless others. Bender passed away in 2008 at the age of 88.

Sheldon “Chief” Bender Award winners:

2000 Austin Kearns

2001 Adam Dunn

2002 Brandon Larson

2003 Stephen Smitherman

2004 Richie Gardner

2005 Chris Denorfia

2006 Homer Bailey

2007 Jay Bruce

2008 Chris Valaika

2009 Chris Heisey

2010 Devin Mesoraco

2011 Billy Hamilton

2012 Billy Hamilton

2013 Seth Mejias-Brean

2014 Ben Lively

2015 Tyler Mahle

2016 Aristides Aquino

2017 Nick Senzel

2018 Ibandel Isabel


Dayton Dragons, Fifth Third Bank to hold College Prep Night September 26th




One Lucky Attendee Will Win a $1,000 College Scholarship


Dayton, Ohio – The Dayton Dragons and Fifth Third Bank will hold College Prep Night, a free educational event for prospective college students, at Fifth Third Field on Wednesday, September 26 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.


College Prep Night is a one-stop college resource event to guide prospective college students and their parents through the process of planning an educational path. High school students can talk to representatives from colleges and universities from all over the nation, and one lucky student in attendance will win a $1,000 college scholarship, courtesy of Fifth Third Bank.


More than 1,000 students and their guests will attend and more than 70 colleges and universities will participate in this free event. Among the colleges scheduled to appear are Wright State University, Kettering College, Ohio University, Miami (Ohio) University, Duke University, University of Cincinnati, Ball State University, University of Dayton, Ohio Army National Guard, University of Kentucky, and many more schools from around the country. Representatives will be on hand to answer whatever questions that students might have about college life at each particular school.


“Fifth Third is committed to growing the financial knowledge of families and students as they make decisions about their future,” said Doug Compton, city executive for Fifth Third Bank. “It is important that we play a role in providing information that will help them successfully navigate their options regarding college. We are honored to provide a scholarship to a student who has made the decision to continue their education and we are dedicated to continue participating in events like College Prep Night that make a long-lasting, positive difference in the communities that we serve.”


The $1,000 scholarship will be given away after the event to a lucky college-bound student. To be entered to win, parents or students must RSVP before noon on the day of the event at and must attend the event, although they do not have to be present when the winner’s name is pulled at the conclusion of the event.


In addition to visiting with the different schools, students and parents can participate in dynamic, informative workshops that will tell them everything they need to know about college. In one of the informative seminars, Fifth Third Bank will educate attendees on choosing the right college savings, part of a 13-program series called Empower U, designed by financial professionals at Fifth Third Bank with the employees of their valued clients in mind. The Empower U program is designed to provide you with financial information that will help empower you to achieve your goals and realize financial independence. This presentation will provide attendees with an overview of how to, and how much to, save for your child’s college education.


To learn more about College Prep Night, please visit

About Fifth Third

Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. As of June 30, 2018, the Company had $141 billion in assets and operated 1,158 full-service Banking Centers and 2,458 ATMs with Fifth Third branding in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina. In total, Fifth Third provides its customers with access to approximately 54,000 fee-free ATMs across the United States. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending and Wealth & Asset Management. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of June 30, 2018, had $368 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $37 billion for individuals, corporations and not-for-profit organizations through its Trust and Registered Investment Advisory businesses. Investor information and press releases can be viewed Fifth Third’s common stock is traded on the Nasdaq® Global Select Market under the symbol “FITB.” Fifth Third Bank was established in 1858. Deposit and Credit products are offered by Fifth Third Bank. Member FDIC.


Dayton Dragons rank 8th out of 160 teams in 2018 Minor League Teams in attendance





Dayton, Ohio— Minor League Baseball has announced the final attendance rankings for all 160 teams for the 2018 season.  The Dayton Dragons, a Single-A team, finished eighth in attendance among the 160 teams with a season’s total of 550,725.  The Dragons average per home date of 7,868 ranked ninth in the Minor Leagues.  Nine of the top 10 clubs in the final rankings were Triple-A teams with the Dragons as the only exception.


The Dragons final attendance total ranked first among the 130 teams below the Triple-A level.  The Dragons have finished in the top 10 among all Minor League Baseball clubs in each of their 19 seasons and have finished # 1 among all Single-A and Double-A teams for 13 straight years.


“The Dragons success is a tribute to our great fans, season ticket holders, and our corporate partners,” said Robert Murphy, Dragons President & General Manager.  “Our 2018 season was filled with great memories.  We saw 100 mph fastballs from Hunter Greene and we were excited to welcome first round draft pick Jonathan India to Dayton.  We introduced a new Hometown Heroes program.  We helped raise money for two great causes through special auctions of game-worn jerseys on American Celebration Night and Defeat Cancer Night.  And we are already at work to make 2019, our 20th year, another great season of Dragons Baseball at Fifth Third Field.”


The Dragons 19 seasons of operation represent the top 19 single-season attendance totals in Single-A baseball history.


Each of the 70 Dragons home games in 2018 resulted in a sell-out, extending the Dragons sell-out streak to 1,316 consecutive games.  Every Dragons game ever played at Fifth Third Field has been a sell-out.


Minor League Baseball also announced that its 2018 regular season attendance total of 40,450,337 marked the 14th consecutive year that teams combined to top 41 million.


2018 Attendance Rankings (affiliated teams)


Minor League Top-10 (from among 160 teams)



Double-A and Single-A Top-10 (from among 130 teams)



More Information: The Dayton Dragons are the Midwest League affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds and play a 70-game home schedule at beautiful Fifth Third Field in downtown Dayton, easily accessible from Interstate 75. Individuals and groups seeking information about Dayton Dragons group tickets, lawn tickets, the season ticket wait list, sponsorship opportunities or booking a Dragons speaker are encouraged to contact the Dragons by calling (937) 228-2287, by email at, or on the web at


Dayton Dragons end-of-season Jersey and Memoribilia auction running now through Friday September 28




DAYTON, OHIO- The Dayton Dragons are making several 2018 game-worn jerseys and autographed baseballs available as part of an online auction.  The auction will run from Friday, September 21st at 9:00 a.m. until Friday, September 28th at 9:00 a.m.


Proceeds from the jersey auction will benefit the Dragons Foundation.  Go to this link to view the items and to bid:

All jerseys in the auction are autographed by the player or coach. Jerseys for the following players/coaches are featured in the auction:

White (Home) Autographed/Game-Worn Jerseys

#3, Hunter Greene

#18, John Ghyzel

#29, Mark Kolozsvary


Orange (Home/Friday) Autographed/Game-Worn Jerseys

#2, Jeter Downs

#3, Hunter Greene

#7, Jonathan India

#18, John Ghyzel

#24, Hendrix Clementina


Green (Home/Sunday) Autographed/Game-Worn Jerseys

#3, Hunter Greene


Gray (Road) Autographed/Game-Worn Jerseys

#18, John Ghyzel

#24, Hendrix Clementina

#29, Mark Kolozsvary


Black Batting Practice Autographed/Worn Jerseys

#7, Jonathan India


Autographed Midwest League Baseball Sets

Dragons MWL All-Star Game representatives (Hendrik Clementina, John Ghyzel, Cory Thompson)

Dragons team signed baseball

Packy Naughton signed baseball & Hunter Greene signed baseball

Hunter Greene signed baseball & Jonathan India signed baseball

Hendrick Clementina signed baseball & Jeter Downs signed baseball


Dayton’s Fifth Third Field to host Worship Concert & Celebration, October 7

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Tom Nichols, Dayton Dragons; Venue Contact: Eric Deutsch; Promoter Contact: Caleb Ingram; COURTESY DAYTON DRAGONS MEDIA RELATIONS



Dayton Dragons Fifth Third Field from above (courtesy Dayton Dragons)



Sunday Night Concert Completes Weekend Activities


DAYTON, OH The Dayton Dragons in conjunction with Declare Worship Community, a local group of church and community leaders, are proud to announce a Sunday night concert celebration that will be held at Fifth Third Field on October 7th from 6pm to 8pm.


Tickets from this powerful concert will support both Rebuilding Together Dayton and a recovery scholarship fund.  The Declare Worship Community is uniting the churches, nonprofits, and the community across Greater Dayton at Fifth Third Field, and all are invited to serve and celebrate together.


Here is a schedule of Sunday events:


  • Sunday, October 7 (4-5pm) Victory March

Dozens of agencies and nonprofits and thousands in recovery marching together through the heart of downtown Dayton to the Don Crawford Plaza in front of Fifth Third Field

  • Sunday, October 7 (5-6pm) Family Festival / Don Crawford Plaza, Fifth Third Field

Family festival on Don Crawford Plaza.  Food, games, and inflatables; no entry fee, all welcome.  Resources will be available for various nonprofits and recovery ministries and agencies.

  • Sunday, October 7 (6-8pm) Concert / Celebration, Fifth Third Field

A powerful worship concert and celebration of the weekend.  Two local bands of incredibly talented musicians from churches across our city will be leading, along with a 100+ voice citywide gospel choir and more. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased through the Dayton Dragons Box Office, with $1.00 from each ticket being donated to a recovery scholarship fund.


This will be the 14th concert for the Declare Worship Community since 2014, following “Declare Dayton” at the University of Dayton Arena in 2016, five events around Greater Dayton in 2017, and now growing into multiple concerts around Greater Dayton and Cincinnati in 2018.



“We have been in communication with Fifth Third Field management and leaders across Greater Dayton for over a year to plan this weekend – seeing the support from church, community and city leaders has been overwhelming,” commented Caleb Ingram, Executive Director of Declare Worship Community.


“I have great anticipation of how we can impact this city and region as we stand together to declare victory in Jesus over the brokenness around us. The best is yet to come, and that is only possible as we stand together to lead the way to a stronger future,” noted Ingram.



The Dragons have worked with Declare Dayton to make special arrangements to allow Dragons season ticket holders, sponsors, group leaders and members on the Dragons wait list to have first opportunity to purchase tickets before they go on sale to the general public.  On Wednesday, September 5th at 10am the general public will be able to purchase tickets via the Dayton Dragons Box office in person or via phone at (937) 228-BATS (2287), or online at


All seats in the stadium seating bowl will be $10.00.


For more information about purchasing tickets, please contact the Dragons by calling at (937) 228-2287 (BATS), go to the Dragons web site at  For more information about getting involved with Declare Worship Community, contact Declare Dayton at or visit



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