Omaha Storm Chasers
|Omaha Storm Chasers
Founded in 1969
|Minor league affiliations|
|League||Pacific Coast League (1998–present)|
|American Association (1969–1997)|
|Major league affiliations|
|Current||Kansas City Royals (1969–present)|
|Minor league titles|
|Class titles||2013, 2014|
|League titles||1969, 1970, 1978, 1990, 2011, 2013, 2014|
|Conference titles||2011, 2012, 2013, 2014|
|Division titles||1970, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1981, 1982, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1996, 1999, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014|
|Nickname||Omaha Storm Chasers (2011–present)|
|Omaha Royals (2002–2010)
Omaha Golden Spikes (1999–2001)
Omaha Royals (1969–1998)
Royal blue, Vegas gold, and black
|Ballpark||Werner Park (2011–present)|
|Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium (1969–2010)|
|Alliance Baseball LLC|
The Omaha Storm Chasers are a minor league baseball team, based in Papillion, Nebraska, a city 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 to Storm Chasers in 2011.
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 innign, 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.
|1969||85–55||1st||Jack McKeon||League Champions|
|1970||73–65||1st||Jack McKeon||League Champions|
|1976||78–58||2nd||Billy Gardner||League Finals|
|1977||76–59||1st||John Sullivan||League Finals|
|1978||66–69||4th||John Sullivan||League Champions|
|1981||79–57||1st||Joe Sparks||League Finals|
|1982||71–66||4th||Joe Sparks||League Finals|
|1983||64–72||6th (t)||Joe Sparks|
|1986||72–70||4th||John Boles / Frank Funk|
|1987||64–76||7th (t)||John Wathan / Frank Funk|
|1988||81–61||2nd||Glenn Ezell||League Finals|
|1989||74–72||3rd (t)||Sal Rende||League Finals|
|1990||86–60||1st||Sal Rende||League Champions|
|1992||67–77||6th (t)||Jeff Cox|
|1995||76–68||3rd||Mike Jirschele||Lost in 1st round|
|1996||79–65||2nd||Mike Jirschele||Lost in 1st round|
|1998||79–64||4th (t)||Ron Johnson|
|1999||81–60||3rd||Ron Johnson||Lost in 1st round|
|2011||79–63||1st||Mike Jirschele||Won American Conference 3–1, Won PCL Championship 3–0, Lost Triple-A National Championship|
|2012||83–61||1st||Mike Jirschele||Won American Conference 3–2, Lost PCL Championship 3–1|
|2013||70–74||1st||Mike Jirschele||Won American Conference 3–1, Won PCL Championship 3–1, Won Triple-A National Championship|
|2014||76–67||1st||Brian Poldberg||Won American Conference 3–1, Won PCL Championship 3–2, Won Triple-A National Championship|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 births, two Pacific Coast League titles, and a National Championship. He accumulated 995 wins during his 14 seasons in Omaha.
Awards and league leaders
Since joining the Pacific Coast League in 1998, players from the franchise have won several PCL awards and led the league in different statistical categories.
- Chris Hatcher, 1998
- Luis Mendoza, 2011
- Les Walrond, 2004, 3.06 ERA (123.2 IP)
- Anthony Lerew, 2010, 2.55 ERA (123.1 IP)
- Luis Mendoza, 2011, 2.18 ERA (144.1 IP)
- Jeremy Giambi, 1998, .372
- Mark Quinn, 1999, .360
- Chris Hatcher, 1998, 46
Single-season team records
- Hits: 182, Manny Castillo, 1982
- Doubles: 37, Steve Hammond 1983; Clint Robinson 2012
- Triples: 20, Fred Rico, 1969
- Homeruns: 46, Chris Hatcher, 1998
- RBIs: 106, Chris Hatcher, 1998
- Walks: 128, Ken Phelps, 1980
- Stolen Bases: 75, German Barranca 1979
- Wins: 16, Mark Littell, 1973, Gary Lance, 1977
- Strikeouts: 221, Steve Busby, 1972
- Saves: 33, Mark Huismann, 1985
The following players were named to the Triple-A All-Star team as Storm Chasers.
- Johnny Giavotella (2B)
- Luis Mendoza (P)
- Clint Robinson (DH)
- Tommy Hottovy (P)
- Wil Myers (OF)
- Clint Robinson (1B)
- Ryan Verdugo (P)
- Louis Coleman (P)
- Chris Dwyer (P)
- Spencer Patton (P)
- Francisco Pena (C)
Omaha Storm Chasers roster
7-day disabled list
|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|
|Short-Season A||Idaho Falls Chukars||Pioneer League||Idaho Falls, ID|
|Rookie||Burlington Royals||Appalachian League||Burlington, NC|
- 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.
- "Werner Enterprises Granted Naming Rights for New Ballpark". ORoyals.com. 2010-11-11. Retrieved 2010-11-11.
- "Omaha Storm Chasers, Front Office Staff". minorleaguebaseball.com. Retrieved May 27, 2015.