Baseball America honors Dragons president as executive of the year

Dayton Dragons President Robert Murphy has hit a home run with Baseball America.

Murphy was selected the Minor League Baseball Executive of the Year on Thursday. The Dragons were among 16 leagues and 190 minor-league teams considered for the award.

“It’s about the entire organization,” Murphy said. “It reflects 19 years of outstanding performance by our folks here. It also reflects the different ownership groups we’ve had that have given us the resources to succeed. If you don’t get those resources and get the freedom to do the things we want to do, you’re not going to achieve like this organization has achieved.”

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Current owner Palisades Arcadia Baseball purchased the Dragons from Mandalay Baseball Properties.

Murphy has been the only president in Dragons history and began overseeing the Class A affiliate of the parent-club Cincinnati Reds in 1999.

“The great history and traditions of the Reds have helped parley the Dragons’ success,” Murphy said. “People love this sport. It’s because they were exposed to one of the greatest franchises in history. That created a love affair with baseball that not many other communities experience.”

The team has been a long-running hit with Daytonians. With Fifth Third Field anchored at the corner of Monument Avenue and Patterson Boulevard, Dragons games serve as ground-zero for the revival of downtown Dayton during spring and summer months.

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Many fan-friendly events are presented at Dragons games. Fifth Third Field also has been host for rock concerts, boxing matches, high school baseball and an annual Girls Scouts sleepover. The organization has established the Dragons School MVP Program, Anthem Home Run for Life and the Dragons Hometown Heros.

Every home game the team has played since its first season in 2000 has been sold out. The Dragons will take a sell-out streak of 1,316 consecutive games into 2019, an all-time record for professional sports teams.

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A native of Buffalo, N.Y., prior to joining the Dragons Murphy was in management with the Las Vegas Stars of the Pacific Coast League and the Las Vegas Thunder of the International Hockey League. He also was named Minor League Baseball Executive of the Year by the Sporting News in 2005 and the Midwest League executive of the year in 2000 and 2012.

“We work hard here to make this family entertainment,” Murphy said. “That’s one of the things that always pushes the Dayton Dragons onto the list of must-do during the summer in Dayton, Ohio.”

The Dragons will host the Bowling Green Hot Rods in the 2019 season opener on April 4.

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