Key events in Dragons' history

April 26, 1999: Ground-breaking ceremony is held for the $22.7 million stadium.

May 3, 1999: Mandalay Baseball unveils team name and logo at Courthouse Square in Downtown Dayton. Thirteen-year-old Richard Burque of Huber Heights wins the Dayton Daily News “Guess the Name of the Team” contest.

March 18, 2000: The Dragons box office opens. The Dayton Dragons become the first (and only) team in Minor League Baseball history to sell out an entire season before it began.

April 27, 2000: Play ball! After nearly 50 years, professional baseball returns to Dayton when the Dragons take the field for the first time at home on April 27, 2000. They defeat the Cedar Rapids Kernels 4-3.

May 29, 2000: Former major league star reliever Mark Wohlers pitched for the Dragons on an injury rehabilitation assignment at Fifth Third Field. Wohlers made a second appearance at Fifth Third Field on June 3, 2000.

July 17, 2000: Future major leaguer Austin Kearns begins an eight-game tear, hitting .720 (18-for-25) with 10 homers, two doubles, 20 RBIs, and 19 runs —the best streak in Dragons history.

September 5, 2000: The Dragons defeat the West Michigan Whitecaps, 2-1, in the club’s first ever playoff game.

May 9, 2001: Roofman, the Dragons superhero who turns foul balls in softee balls for fans, makes his debut appearance.

Μay 16, 2001: Former Dragons pitcher Brian Reith appeared in a game with the Cincinnati Reds to become the first former Dragon to reach the Major Leagues. On July 20, 2001, former Dragon Adam Dunn made his debut with the Reds less than a year after he had played for the Dragons.

June 19, 2001: The Midwest League All-Star Game is held at Fifth Third Field. The Dragons, part of the Eastern Division of the Midwest League, send five players.

July 3, 2001: Jose Rijo, Cincinnati Reds pitcher and MVP of the 1990 World Series, makes an unexpected return to the game and pitches for the Dragons as part of his return to Major League Baseball.

July 4, 2001: Jose Rijo, the Most Valuable Player of the 1990 World Series for the Reds, pitched for the Dragons on an injury rehabilitation assignment at Fifth Third Field.

July 12, 2001: The one-millionth fan passes through the gates at Fifth Third Field.

April 1, 2002: Dragons tickets are the hottest ticket in town as the season ticket wait-list grows to more than 5,000 names.

July 5, 2002: The world famous ZOOperstars! make their debut performance at Fifth Third Field.

September 3, 2002: After selling every stadium seat before the season’s first pitch (for the third year in a row), the Dragons extend their sellout streak to 217 consecutive games.

April 3, 2003: Joey Votto makes his debut in a Dayton Dragons uniform. Five years later, he finishes second in the 2008 National League Rookie of the Year voting with the Cincinnati Reds and in 2010 wins the NL MVP award.

April 11, 2003: Heater’s newly hatched niece, Gem, joins the Dragons at Fifth Third Field.

May 28, 2003: Heater and Gem are joined by Wink, the kind ogre.

June 6, 2003: The Dragons welcome their two-millionth fan.

July 3, 2003: Dayton celebrates the 100th anniversary of powered flight and the innovative spirit of the Wright Brothers with “Inventing Flight.” Opening Ceremonies take place at Fifth Third Field with astronaut legends Neil Armstrong and John Glenn. More than 12,000 fans attend.

July 29, 2003: One of the most popular in-between innings skits in Dragons history, the Toddler Races, gets off to a fast start.

September 1, 2003: Dragons finish another sold-out season, bringing the sellout streak to 287.

December 1, 2003: Baseball America names Fifth Third Field among the top minor league ballparks in America.

September 2, 2004: At season’s end, the Dragons sellout streak reaches 385 games.

September 2, 2004: More than 593,000 fans attend games in 2004. The Dragons break their own Class-A attendance mark (third time in five seasons).

May 25-28, 2005: Dragons host the Atlantic 10 post-season conference championships.

June 2-4, 2005: Fifth Third Field host the Division I and III high school state semifinals and finals.

August 9, 2005: Def Leppard and Bryan Adams give the phrase “Take Me Out To The Ball Game” a whole new meaning when they bring rock n roll to Fifth Third Field ... the first major rock concert at the stadium.

September 1, 2005: The Dragons close out the season with 427 consecutive sellouts, making six sold-out seasons in a row.

April 6, 2006: Future Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jay Bruce makes his Dragons debut. He goes on to be named to the MWL All-Star Game and earns the Star of Stars honor with a two-run homer, a double, and a single as the Eastern team defeats the West, 7-1.

April 13, 2006: West Carrollton defeats Springboro 11-10 in the first ever high school baseball game at Fifth Third Field as part of a new Dragons high school baseball ticketing program ... since 2006 there have been 124 high school games played at Fifth Third Field (2006-2011).

September 4, 2006: Dayton fans extend the streak to 496 consecutive games.

September 4, 2006: Fifth Third Field welcomes its 4-millionth fan with an attendance grand total of over 4,100,000 over seven sold-out seasons.

March 31, 2007: The first major-league game is held at Fifth Third Field between the Cincinnati Reds and Florida Marlins.

April 17, 2007: Dragons celebrate 500 straight sellouts.

April 21, 2007: SI.com name the Dragons one of the 10 hottest tickets in all of sports.

May 23-26, 2007: Dragons host the Atlantic 10 conference tournament.

May 28, 2007: As part of the Dragons Hometown Heroes celebration, Captain (now Major) Thigpen, a deployed service member to Iraq, gives his family a surprise reunion.

July 27, 2007: Collective Soul, Live and Counting Crows headline the second major concert tour to stop at Fifth Third Field.

September 6, 2007: Dragons streak reaches 565. They pass the Sacramento Kings of the NBA (497 games, 1985-97) and move in the 4th spot of the list of longest sellouts.

August 28, 2008: Two of Disney’s hottest stars, Vanessa Hudgens and Corbin Bleu, perform in front of thousands of fans at Fifth Third Field.

September 3, 2008: The Dragons pass the Chicago Bulls with 635 consecutive sellouts (Bulls, 610 games, 1987-2000) to take third spot on the list of longest sellout streaks in sports.

October 9, 2008: Sen. Barack Obama holds presidential rally at Fifth Third Field.

April 4, 2009: The Cincinnati Reds play against their top prospects in a first-of-its kind event, the historic “Futures” game at Fifth Third Field.

April 17, 2009: Fifth Third Field is named one of the top 10 minor league ballparks by Baseball America. The home of the Dragons is ranked 7 and the top rated Class-A facility.

May 20-23, 2009: Dragons host the Atlantic 10 conference tournament.

June 20, 2009: Former Dragons first baseman Joey Votto returned to Dayton for an injury rehabilitation assignment. Votto belted a long home run to right field in his first at-bat with the Dragons as the Dragons set a new single-game attendance total that was broken later in 2009. Votto also returned to play for the Dragons on June 21, 2009.

July 10, 2009: A triple bill of music legends – Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Bob Dylan – play to over 9,000 fans at Fifth Third Field.

September 4, 2009: The streak extends to 704 games, pushing the Dragons streak past the Boston Celtics (662 games, 1980-95) and into second place on the sellout charts.

April 8, 2010: Former Big Red Machine great, Ken Griffey Sr., joins the Dragons coaching staff.

September 6, 2010: Dragons welcome over 6.5 million fans with the completion of the 11th season ... streak reached 774.

September 17, 2010: Dragons host first-ever boxing event as 26 amateur fighters, and future Olympic hopefuls, battle it out at Fifth Third Field.

April 7, 2011: Dragons begin 12th and historic season at Fifth Third Field.

May 31, 2011: Dragons hit their 800th consecutive sold out game.

July 2, 2011: Dragons tie the Portland TrailBlazers as the top consecutive sold out games with 814; Portland’s streak encompassed 1977-95.

July 9, 2011: Dragons break the all-time consecutive game streak with their 815th sold-out game.

Thank you for reading the Dayton Daily News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Dayton Daily News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.

X