The Dayton Dragons didn’t have to make any bids, or go to any extravagant means, to secure the 2013 Midwest League All-Star game, scheduled for tonight at Fifth Third Field at 7. It was just their turn.
The Midwest League rotates the game among the teams in the league. Dayton last hosted in 2001, a year after the team debuted — 2013 came it was time again.
The advance notice doesn’t diminish the amount of work. The team put together a committee of six staff members after last year’s game, hosted by Kane County. The committee began making a plan, including festivities at the game, special events around town, as well as events for guests who attend the game.
Dragons general manager and executive vice president Gary Mayse said it took the whole 12 months since last year’s game for the event to come together.
“We have a committee that was put together, that was headed up by myself and another gentlemen, vice president of sponsor services Brad Eaton,” Mayse said. “It’s a committee of six people working on an itinerary over the last 10 to 12 months. That’s everything from getting hotels secured, setting up entertainment activities at Fraze (Pavilion), working with them on entertainment needs, setting up excursions and other things.
“We made it possible that our guests have the opportunity to visit The Greene for an afternoon or go to the Air Force Museum.”
The Dragons hosted a block party at the Fraze on Monday, which included performances from the Dragons’ Green Team and mascots, as well as a Jimmy Buffett cover band. Players were available for autographs.
The home run derby is today at 5:30 p.m. and will feature four players from the Eastern and Western Divisions, as well as two local Little League players on each team. Dancers will perform on the dugouts in between innings, and there will also be a flyover of Fifth Third Field from the Celebration of Flight.
The game in 2001 coincided with the 100th anniversary of minor league baseball. Players in that game wore throwback jerseys, which was part of a theme for the whole game. This year, Mayse said the team kept Dayton in mind while planning entertainment.
“Dayton is rich in the arts,” Mayse said. “We are also trying to put on events that pertain to the history of Dayton and put a spotlight on the city.”
MWL All-Star Game MVPS Then and Now
2012 - O’ Koyea Dickson Great Lakes (with Dodgers high-A)
2011 - Nino Leyja, Burlington Bees (Athletics high-A)
2010 - Jerry Sands, Great Lakes (Pirates)
2009 - Sawyer Carrol, Fort Wayne (Padres AAA)
2008 - Tim Smith, Clinton (Canadian national team)
2007 - Deik Scramm, West Michigan (Tigers AAA)
2006 - Jay Bruce, Dayton (Reds)
2005 - Jereme Milons, South Bend (independent league)
2004 - Mitch Maier, Burlington (Red Sox)
2003 - Kevin Beavers, Lansing (retired)
MWL All-Star Game
East vs. West, 7 p.m.
Home Run Derby, 5:30 p.m.