Omaha Storm Chasers

Omaha Storm Chasers
Founded in 1969
Papillion, Nebraska
Team logoCap insignia
Class-level
Current Triple-A (1969–present)
Minor league affiliations
League Pacific Coast League
(1998–present)
Conference American Conference
Division Northern Division
Previous leagues
American Association
(1969–1997)
Major league affiliations
Current Kansas City Royals
(1969–present)
Minor league titles
Class titles (3)
  • 1990
  • 2013
  • 2014
League titles (7)
  • 1969
  • 1970
  • 1978
  • 1990
  • 2011
  • 2013
  • 2014
Conference titles (4)
  • 2011
  • 2012
  • 2013
  • 2014
Division titles (15)
  • 1970
  • 1976
  • 1977
  • 1978
  • 1981
  • 1982
  • 1988
  • 1989
  • 1990
  • 1996
  • 1999
  • 2011
  • 2012
  • 2013
  • 2014
Team data
Nickname Omaha Storm Chasers
(2011–present)
Previous names
Omaha Royals (2002–2010)
Omaha Golden Spikes
(1999–2001)
Omaha Royals (1969–1998)
Colors

Royal blue, Vegas gold, black, light blue

                   
Mascot Stormy
Ballpark Werner Park (2011–present)[1]
Previous parks
Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium
(1969–2010)
Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
Alliance Baseball LLC
Manager Brian Poldberg
General Manager Martie Cordaro
President Martie Cordaro

The Omaha Storm Chasers are a minor league baseball team, based in Papillion, Nebraska, a suburb southwest of Omaha. The team is the Triple-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals major league club and has been a member of the expanded Pacific Coast League since 1998. From 1969 to 1997, Omaha played in the now-dissolved American Association. Omaha has been the only Triple-A affiliate of Kansas City since their inception as an expansion team in 1969.

The team played in Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium, home to the College World Series for over 60 years. The Royals moved to their new home, Werner Park in Sarpy County, and changed their name from Royals to Storm Chasers in 2011.[1]

In 2016, Forbes listed the Omaha Storm Chasers as the twenty nine-most valuable Minor League Baseball team with a value of $27 million.[2]

Team history

After having been known as the Royals from their inaugural 1969 season through 1998, the team nickname was changed to the Omaha Golden Spikes in 1999. The name change was a reference to the Golden Spike driven at Promontory Summit, Utah, to celebrate the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad in 1869. It was intended to celebrate the rich railroad tradition in Omaha, headquarters of the Union Pacific Railroad. The well-intentioned name change proved unpopular with many fans; after three seasons as the Golden Spikes, the Union Pacific sold their majority ownership and the nickname was returned to "Royals" for 2002.

Following the 2010 season, the Omaha Royals began the process of changing their nickname. Fans had the opportunity to submit their choice of nicknames, as well as vote on the finalists. The list of 24 fan-submitted names was whittled down to nine finalists through voting at the team's website, and the new name, "Storm Chasers," was revealed on November 15.

The first game under the Storm Chasers name was played on April 7, 2011, in Albuquerque, New Mexico against the Albuquerque Isotopes. Mike Montgomery started the game for the Storm Chasers and Clint Robinson hit a homerun in the top of the second inning, giving him the first hit, homerun, and RBI in the team's history as the Storm Chasers. The first win for the team came two days later when they took the third game of the series against the Isotopes, 10–4. Pitcher Kevin Pucetas got the win.

The home opener at Werner Park was to be on April 15, but was postponed due to rain. As such, the first Storm Chasers home game was on April 16 against the Nashville Sounds. David Lough recorded the first Chasers home hit and Mike Moustakas doubled in Eric Hosmer for the first RBI. The Storm Chasers won their home debut, 2–1. Danny Duffy started the game, but the win went to reliever Jesse Chavez. The first homerun at Werner wasn't hit until April 20, a two run shot by Mike Moustakas that again brought Eric Hosmer around to score.

In July 2015, the Storm Chasers hosted the Triple-A All-Star Game and Home Run Derby, the first time the events had been held in Omaha.[3] The International League defeated the PCL 4–3 and Norfolk's Dariel Álvarez won the Home Run Derby. The Storm Chasers were well represented at the game with three All-Star players in Cheslor Cuthbert, Louis Coleman, and John Lamb as well as trainer Dave Innicca and manager Brian Poldberg, who skippered the PCL team.[4] Another Omaha All-Star in 2015, outfielder José Martínez, led the league in on-base percentage (OBP, .461) that year[5] and broke the PCL batting record with a .384 average.[6]

Year-by-year record

YearRecordFinishManagerPlayoffs
American Association
196985–551stJack McKeonWon League Championship 4–1 vs. Denver Bears
197073–651stJack McKeonWon League Championship 4–1 vs. Syracuse Chiefs
197169–705thJack McKeon
197271–694thJack McKeon
197362–736thHarry Malmberg
197454–828thHarry Malmberg
197567–696thBilly Gardner
197678–582ndBilly GardnerLost League Championship 4–2 vs. Denver Bears
197776–591stJohn SullivanLost League Championship 4–2 vs. Denver Bears
197866–694thJohn SullivanWon League Championship 4–1 vs. Indianapolis Indians
197965–716thGordon Mackenzie
198066–704thJoe Sparks
198179–571stJoe SparksWon Division Series 3–2 vs. Springfield Redbirds;
Lost League Championship 4–0 vs. Denver Bears
198271–664thJoe SparksLost League Championship 4–2 vs. Indianapolis Indians
198364–726th (t)Joe Sparks
198468–868thGene Lamont
198573–694thGene Lamont
198672–704thJohn Boles / Frank Funk
198764–767th (t)John Wathan / Frank Funk
198881–612ndGlenn EzellLost League Championship 3–1 vs. Indianapolis Indians
198974–723rd (t)Sal RendeLost League Championship 3–2 vs. Indianapolis Indians
199086–601stSal RendeWon League Championship 3–2 vs. Nashville Sounds;
Won Triple-A Classic 4–1 vs. Rochester Red Wings
199173–715thSal Rende
199267–776th (t)Jeff Cox
199370–745thJeff Cox
199468–766thJeff Cox
199576–683rdMike JirscheleLost Division Series 3–1 vs. Buffalo Bisons
199679–652ndMike JirscheleLost Division Series 3–1 vs. Oklahoma City 89ers
199761–838thMike Jirschele
Pacific Coast League
199879–644th (t)Ron Johnson
199981–603rdRon JohnsonLost Conference Championship 3–1 vs. Oklahoma RedHawks
200064–7911thJohn Mizerock
200170–7410thJohn Mizerock
200276–684thBucky Dent
200370–7311thMike Jirschele
200471–739thMike Jirschele
200572–728thMike Jirschele
200653–9116thMike Jirschele
200773–713rdMike Jirschele
200863–813rdMike Jirschele
200964–804thMike Jirschele
201081–633rdMike Jirschele
201179–631stMike JirscheleWon American Conference 3–1 vs. Round Rock Express;
Won PCL Championship 3–0 vs. Sacramento River Cats;
Lost Triple-A National Championship vs. Columbus Clippers
201283–611stMike JirscheleWon American Conference 3–2 vs. Albuquerque Isotopes;
Lost PCL Championship 3–1 vs. Reno Aces
201370–741stMike JirscheleWon American Conference 3–0 vs. Oklahoma City RedHawks;
Won PCL Championship 3–1 vs. Salt Lake Bees;
Won Triple-A National Championship vs. Durham Bulls
201476–671stBrian PoldbergWon American Conference 3–1 vs. Memphis Redbirds;
Won PCL Championship 3–2 vs. Reno Aces;
Won Triple-A National Championship vs. Pawtucket Red Sox
201580–642nd (t)Brian Poldberg
201658–824thBrian Poldberg
201769–723rdBrian Poldberg
TOTAL3,490–3,445American Association: 10 West Division Titles, 4 American Association Titles, 1 Triple-A Classic Title
Pacific Coast League: 4 American Conference Titles, 3 Pacific Coast League Titles, 2 Triple-A National Titles

Uniforms

The Storm Chasers have four uniform tops and three hats that they wear during the season. The uniforms are manufactured by Russell Athletic and the hats are made by New Era. Blue or black socks are worn high with all uniforms, per team policy. Player names are worn on the backs of the home white jerseys only.

Jerseys

The home white has "Storm Chasers" across the chest with Royal blue piping around the neck, down the center of the jersey, and around the two sleeves. The player's number appears on the left in split blue/gold written in Storm Chaser font. A Kansas City Royals patch adorns the left sleeve, boasting an affiliation that has gone unbroken since 1969. The number on the back is a larger version of the one of the front with the player's name arching above it in standard blue. The white pants have a thin blue line running up both legs and are capped off with a blue belt. Blue socks are worn with this jersey.

The road grays have "Omaha" written across the chest in split black/gold written in Storm Chaser font with the "O bolt" logo standing in for the "O" in Omaha. The player's number appears in the same split colors and font on the left side of the jersey. Black piping runs around the neck, down the center of the jersey, and around the two sleeves. There is also a thick black line down both gray pant legs. The number on the back is a larger version of the one on the front. A black belt and socks complete the road uniform.

The alternate uniform is black with the interlocking "SC" logo on the left side of the chest and has gold piping around the neck, down the center of the jersey, and around the two sleeves. The number on the back is gold, written in Storm Chaser font. These jerseys are worn with both the home white and road gray pants, but are always accompanied by a black belt and black socks.

The fourth jersey is completely Royal blue with the Vortex logo on the left side of the chest. The numbers on the back are white, written in Storm Chaser font.

Hats

The primary hat is Royal blue with a matching brim and button, the Vortex logo on the front, and a black New Era flag logo on the left side.

The road hat is black with a matching brim and button, the "O bolt" logo on the front, and a gold New Era flag logo on the left side.

The alternate hat is black with a matching brim and button, the interlocking "SC" logo on the front, and a white New Era flag logo on the left side.

Retired numbers

The franchise has four retired numbers, three of which are also retired by the parent Kansas City Royals.

5 – George Brett: Played for the Omaha Royals in 1973–74, but is remembered most for his 21-year Hall of Fame Major League Baseball career, all with the Kansas City Royals. Brett was a 13-time all-star and 3-time batting champion as well as a Gold Glover, MVP, and World Series Champion.

10 – Dick Howser: Managed the Kansas City Royals from 1981–86, including guiding the team to two Western Division titles and the 1985 World Series title

20 – Frank White: Spent the first half of 1973 in Omaha, then got called up to the majors. He went on to spend his entire 18-year career with the Kansas City Royals, picking up 8 Gold Gloves and 5 all-star selections. He was part of the 1985 World Series team and was named the MVP of the 1980 ALCS.

23 – Mike Jirschele: Not only managed Omaha from 1995–97 and 2003–13, he also played for the team in 1988–89. His tenure as manager was the most successful in team history with five playoff berths, two Pacific Coast League titles, and a national championship. He accumulated 995 wins during his 14 seasons in Omaha.

Awards and league leaders

The franchise has had several American Association (1969–1997) and Pacific Coast League (1998–present) award winners.

Most Valuable Player

  • George Spriggs, 1970
  • E. Manuel Castillo, 1981
  • Luis De Los Santos, 1988
  • Dwyane Hosey, 1994
  • Chris Hatcher, 1998

Rookie of the Year

Most Valuable Pitcher

Manager of the Year

  • Jack McKeon, 1969, 1970
  • Joe Sparks, 1981
  • Sal Rende, 1990

PCL ERA Champions

PCL Batting Champion

  • Jeremy Giambi, 1998, .372
  • Mark Quinn, 1999, .360
  • Jose Martinez, 2015, .384 (PCL modern era record[7])

PCL Homerun Champion

  • Chris Hatcher, 1998, 46

Single-season team records

Offensive

Pitching

Triple-A All-Stars

The following players were named to the Triple-A All-Star team as Storm Chasers.

2011

  • Johnny Giavotella (2B)
  • Luis Mendoza (P)
  • Clint Robinson (DH)

2012

  • Tommy Hottovy (P)
  • Wil Myers (OF)
  • Clint Robinson (1B)
  • Ryan Verdugo (P)

2013

  • Louis Coleman (P)
  • Chris Dwyer (P)

2014

  • Spencer Patton (P)
  • Francisco Pena (C)

2015

  • Louis Coleman (P)
  • Cheslor Cuthbert (3B)
  • John Lamb (P)

2016

  • Andrew Edwards (P)

Roster

Omaha Storm Chasers roster
Players Coaches/Other

Pitchers

Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

Manager

Coaches


7-day disabled list
* On Kansas City Royals 40-man roster
# Rehab assignment
∞ Reserve list
‡ Restricted list
§ Suspended list
† Temporary inactive list
Roster updated July 14, 2018
Transactions
→ More rosters: MiLB  Pacific Coast League
Kansas City Royals minor league players

Team affiliations

Level Team League Location
Major League Kansas City Royals American League Kansas City, MO
Triple-A Omaha Storm Chasers Pacific Coast League Papillion, NE
Double-A Northwest Arkansas Naturals Texas League Springdale, AR
Advanced A Wilmington Blue Rocks Carolina League Wilmington, DE
A Lexington Legends South Atlantic League Lexington, KY
Rookie Idaho Falls Chukars Pioneer League Idaho Falls, ID
Rookie Burlington Royals Appalachian League Burlington, NC

Ownership history

  • 1969–1985 – Kansas City Royals
  • 1986–1991 – Irving "Gus" Cherry
  • 1991–2001 – Union Pacific Railroad (majority owner), with Warren Buffett and Walter Scott as minority owners
  • 2001–2006 – Matt Minker (majority owner), with Warren Buffett and Walter Scott as minority owners
  • 2006–2012 – William (Bill) Shea (majority owner), with Warren Buffett and Walter Scott as minority owners
  • 2012–present – Alliance Baseball LLC.; principal owners include Gary Green (Chief Executive Officer/Managing Owner), Larry Botel, Eric Foss, Brian Callaghan, Peter Huff, Evan Friend and Steve Alepa[8]

References

Coordinates: 41°09′04″N 96°06′25″W / 41.151°N 96.107°W / 41.151; -96.107

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