Austin Kearns Expected to Appear at Dragons Celebration Game
Dayton, Ohio - Austin Kearns, slugging outfielder with the inaugural season Dayton Dragons of 2000, is expected to appear at the Dragons 20th Season Celebration Game on Saturday, March 30. The game is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. at Fifth Third Field as the 2019 Dragons meet a team of Dragons alumni still playing in the Reds farm system.
Kearns, who is among the nine players named so far on the list of the "20 Greatest Dragons," spent the entire 2000 season with the Dayton team, enjoying what still ranks as the greatest hitting season in Dragons history. Kearns, who was in right field and batting fourth in the first Dragons game ever played, is the only Dragons player ever to bat at least .300 with at least 25 home runs and at least 100 runs batted in. He played in 136 games for the inaugural Dragons and batted .306 with 27 homers and 104 RBI.
Kearns put together an incredible home run streak with the Dragons that has rarely been matched in any league in professional baseball history. He connected on home runs in eight straight games, two short of the Minor League record set in 1928. He batted .720 during the streak, hitting a total of 10 home runs. Kearns was named the Midwest League's Co-Prospect of the Year in 2000, sharing the award with Peoria's Albert Pujols. Kearns and his 2000 Dragons teammate, Adam Dunn, are remembered as the biggest names from the early seasons in the Dragons rich history.
Kearns went on to a 12-year Major League career from 2002-13. He was named the National League's Rookie of the Month in his first full month in the Major Leagues and finished third in the 2002 Rookie of the Year voting, batting .315 with 13 home runs in 107 games, posting an OPS of .907. Kearns appeared in 1,125 major league games and hit 121 home runs, playing for the Reds, Nationals, Indians, Yankees, and Marlins.
Individual game tickets for the Dragons 20th Season Celebration Game are available now. Go to daytondragons.com/celebrationgame or Ticketmaster.com.
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: https://www.milb.com/dayton/team/20.
Images from this story
Austin Kearns with the Dayton Dragons in 2000
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