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Speedy Billy Hamilton named Top 20 Greatest Dragons Player


Billy Hamilton playing shortstop while with the Dragons (courtesy Dayton Dragons)

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:


Billy Hamilton


Hamilton spent the entire 2011 season with the Dragons and produced a year that will likely never be matched in the history of the Midwest League, or perhaps, any other professional league.  Hamilton stole 103 bases for the Dragons that season, the most at the time in the history of the Cincinnati Reds organization.  He broke the Dragons club record for stolen bases before the end of May and went on to top the century mark in the final series of the season.  Hamilton led the Dragons to an 83-57 record, still the best in team history.  The Dragons second half record in 2011 was an amazing 48-22.


Hamilton made his MLB debut with the Reds late in the 2013 season, appearing in 13 games and stealing 13 bases.  He became the only player in modern MLB history to record a stolen base in each of his first four games.


Despite changes in the game that have made base stealing more difficult, Hamilton finished the 2017 season with the sixth highest stolen base total in baseball history for the first five years of a career, even though his first season was very brief.  Since his MLB debut, Hamilton leads all MLB players in steals with 277.  He has also emerged as one of the greatest defensive center fielders of his era and has been a perennial finalist for the Gold Glove award.


Hamilton 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, Johnny Cueto, Luis Bolivar, Jose Siri, Jay Bruce, Donald Lutz, Adam Dunn.


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.


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: