Tom Nichols, Director of Media Relations & Broadcasting for the Dayton Dragons


  • The youth event Tri-Star Basketball will be held on March 12, 2022 at Watts Middle School. The event needs 16 volunteers in each of two shifts (8-10 and 10-12). You can work one or both shifts. Please contact Scott Langer if you can help.
  • Washington Centerville’s Got Talent is ramping up for youth aged 4-18. Only the first 30 applicants will be accepted. The prize money for places 1-3 are $500, $250, $100.

Next CNO 2.0 Meeting 3/17/2022

The next CNO 2.0 meeting will be on 3/17/2022 at Heavier than Air Brewing Company in Centerville. The speaker will be Alexis Gomez. Alexis made it to the final 6 of American Idol. She splits her time living in Dayton and Nashville.

CNO 2.0 Venue and Details

The venue for tonight’s CNO 2.0 meeting was The Chop House, 7727 Washington Village Drive, Dayton Ohio 45459. Thank you to the team at The Chop House for great food, drinks and space.

Greg Fay, chair of CNO 2.0, said he was so thankful for all the guests and members that came to tonight’s meeting. He also gave a recap of what our club is all about and that information is at the bottom of this article.

Tom Nichols, Director at the Dayton Dragons

Greg Fay introduced Tom Nichols, the Director of Media Relations & Broadcasting at Dayton Dragons Professional Baseball. He has held the position since 2007 and has been an announcer for Minor League Baseball since 1988.

The Dragons 22nd season opens on 4/8/2022 and they will start on time. They are not affected by the current Major League Baseball lockout.

Nichols said that to be a successful sports broadcaster you need to prepare and remember what you are doing is important. As a broadcaster, Nichols knows that families of the players listen to his broadcasts. His broadcasts are how most of the families find out how their sons are playing. The families are scattered across America and other countries. He enjoys having a positive effect for the players, families and fans.

About the Dragons

  • They are a Minor League Single-A Affiliate and Player Development Franchise of the Cincinnati Reds. Players in High-A are just two levels away from MLB. Read about the hierarchy here.
  • They were recently elevated to High A Minors from Low A. This means better games with better players.
  • They are in the Midwest League which has 12 Teams in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa.
  • They play 66 home games at Day Air Ballpark.
  • With a streak of 1385 sell-out games, they have the longest sell-out streak of any professional sport at any level. The next closest record is 814 sell-outs.
  • 117 players from the Dragons have played in MLB. The list includes Votto, Bruce, Cueto, Dunn, Frazier, Hamilton and Barnhart.
  • All players, coaches and trainers are employees of the Reds. Everything else is run by the Dragons including events, field maintenance, marketing, hotels, bus, uniforms and balls.
  • There have been three MLB Hall of Famers coach for the Dragons: Tom Browning , Ken Griffey Sr. and Chris Sabo.

Player Recruitment

  • Reds have full-time scouts with territories.
  • There is a July draft with 20 picks (recently changed from 40 picks).
  • There are 5 farm clubs.
  • Only 10 percent of players make it to MLB.

COVID Effects

The Dayton Dragons are coming off a couple of tough seasons. The 2020 season was completely lost for all Minor League teams. The Dragons organization found out at the worst possible time about the cancellation. It was right before the season was to begin and they had already paid everyone all winter and had purchased a lot of merchandise.

  • 2021 was a different kind of year for all Minor League Teams.
  • Dragons returned to play a 120-game season in 2021 with 30 percent capacity.
  • On June 2, 2021, full capacity returned with many guidelines: 
    • No front office personnel were allowed in the dugout, locker room or field.
    • The media had to use Zoom to interview the players.
    • Road broadcasts were done remotely off of a computer.

When Nichols had to call games by viewing the feed of one camera on a computer monitor, some suggested that if the stream had missed something that he should fill in with something made up. Nichols refused because as always, Nichols is always trying to be 100% accurate. The families of these players rely on him to relay accurate information about their son’s plays.

Changes to Minor Leagues

MLB has made many changes to the Minor Leagues since 2019:

  • 42 of 160 teams were eliminated entirely (some stadiums are now used by colleges).
  • Teams at all levels were eliminated. Most were the teams below Dayton Dragons High-A level.
  • Their league was cut from 16 teams to 12 Teams. Clinton, Burlington and Kane County were eliminated. Bowling Green was moved to another league.

How have the Dragons been so successful?

Dayton, Ohio has a great sports community. The Dayton Dragons organization target market is families with young children with an emphasis on community. Whether you are a big baseball fan or not, at a Dragons’ games you will have a good time. At around 9 minute intervals between innings there is 90 seconds on the field to entertain the fans. Nichols said his favorite fan event is the toddler race. They find 3 toddlers in the stands and set them off. Almost always the toddlers got distracted and one of them goes the wrong way.

Minor League Players ALWAYS Give Their All

Every play of every game is important to Minor League players. When they play someone who could promote them is watching, so they do their best. Even if a game is going poorly for them, they will give every amount of effort they can. Yes, the level of play in minor league is less than MLB, but it is because the players are developing, it is not for lack of trying.

Thank You Tom Nichols

Thank you, Tom Nichols, for speaking at tonight’s CNO 2.0 meeting and talking about Dayton Dragons Baseball and your career.

About CNO 2.0

CNO 2.0 is a club within a club of the Centerville Noon Optimist Club. CNO (and CNO 2.0) is a world class service organization. Being a member of either club allows their members all the same opportunities to participate in fundraising and club activities. CNO 2.0 was created about 5 years ago and is very much a part of the 53-year-old Centerville Noon Optimist Club. CNO has given away over $2 million during its history. CNO is a group of like-minded members that are passionate about helping youth and having fun in the process.

The speaker at each 2.0 meeting is someone with a local business success story.

Annual Fundraisers

  • Christmas Tree Lot
  • Avenue of Flags
  • Golf Outing

Major Activities for the youth in our community

  • Build-a-Bear at Children’s Hospital, 3 times a year
  • Fishing Derby in June
  • Kid’s day in the park in August
  • Easter Egg Hunt
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