By Josh Hess / Dayton Dragons
The Dayton Dragons will host the 20th Season Celebration game between the 2019 Dragons team (Team 20) and the Dragons Alumni Team on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Fifth Third Field. The exhibition game will be the sixth exhibition game played at Fifth Third Field and the first since the 2017 Reds Futures Game.
As part of the festivities, the Dragons will celebrate past and present franchise icons as well as unveil new attractions around the ballpark. Notable former players that will make up the Alumni Team include:
- Jose Siri (2016-17 Dragons, currently Baseball America’s #11 Reds prospect, MWL record 39-game hit streak in 2017)
- Taylor Trammell (2017 Dragons, #3 Reds prospect)
- Tyler Stephenson (2016-17 Dragons, #6 Reds prospect)
- Tony Santillan (2016-17 Dragons, #5 Reds prospect)
- T.J. Friedl (2017 Dragons, #15 Reds prospect)
The Alumni Team also includes Dragons from the 2018 season such as:
- Cory Thompson (2018 Midwest League Mid-Season All-Star)
- Hendrik Clementina (2018 Midwest League Mid-Season and Full-Season All-Star, #24 Reds prospect)
Other notable former players expected to be in attendance include Austin Kearns, Todd Coffey and Chris Dickerson. Ken Griffey Sr. and Tom Browning, both former Dragons coaches, are also expected at the game on Saturday.
Along with big names on the field for the Alumni Team, the coaching staff has equally recognizable names. Former manager Jose Nieves will guide the alumni team after serving in the same role for the Dragons from 2013-15. Donald Lutz will serve as the hitting coach, eight years after putting together one of the best single-seasons in Dayton history. Luis Montano, who led the Dragons in victories in 2008, will serve as the pitching coach. Frank Pfister, who played in 199 games for the Dragons, will serve as the bench coach for the Alumni Team.
All members of both Team 20 and the Alumni Team will wear special Celebration Game uniforms. The uniforms will be opposite colors and reflective in design. The uniform tops will also have a special Dragons scales overlay, a brand-new addition to any Dayton uniform. They will also include patches on the sleeves to commemorate the team and the event.
At the ballpark itself, the all-new Dragons Zone will open for the first time during the Celebration Game. This kid-friendly area will feature an array of special activities and carnival games including face painting, Skee Roll, Pop-a-Shot and much more! All games are $1.00 each, and throughout the season, the Dragons Zone will host fun and unique activities on weekend games. Check out daytondragons.com/dragonszone for more information and activities throughout the season.