Omaha Storm Chasers

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Omaha Storm Chasers
Founded in 1969
Papillion, Nebraska
Storm Chasers.png Chasers cap.png
Team logo Cap insignia
Class-level
Current Triple-A (1969–present)
Minor league affiliations
League Pacific Coast League (1998–present)
Conference American Conference
Division North Division
Previous leagues
American Association (1969–1997)
Major league affiliations
Current Kansas City Royals (1969–present)
Minor league titles
Class titles 1990, 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
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, and black

              
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

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.[1]

Team history[edit]

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.

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.[2] The International League defeated the PCL by a score of 4–3.The Storm Chasers were well represented at the game with three All-Star players in Cheslor Cutbert, Louis Coleman, and John Lamb as well as trainer Dave Innicca and manager Brian Poldberg, who skippered the PCL team.[3]

Year-by-year record[edit]

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs
American Association
1969 85–55 1st Jack McKeon Won League Championship 4–1 vs. Denver Bears
1970 73–65 1st Jack McKeon Won League Championship 4–1 vs. Syracuse Chiefs
1971 69–70 5th Jack McKeon
1972 71–69 4th Jack McKeon
1973 62–73 6th Harry Malmberg
1974 54–82 8th Harry Malmberg
1975 67–69 6th Billy Gardner
1976 78–58 2nd Billy Gardner Lost League Championship 4–2 vs. Denver Bears
1977 76–59 1st John Sullivan Lost League Championship 4–2 vs. Denver Bears
1978 66–69 4th John Sullivan Won League Championship 4–1 vs. Indianapolis Indians
1979 65–71 6th Gordon Mackenzie
1980 66–70 4th Joe Sparks
1981 79–57 1st Joe Sparks Won Division Series 3–2 vs. Springfield Redbirds; Lost League Championship 4–0 vs. Denver Bears
1982 71–66 4th Joe Sparks Lost League Championship 4–2 vs. Indianapolis Indians
1983 64–72 6th (t) Joe Sparks
1984 68–86 8th Gene Lamont
1985 73–69 4th Gene Lamont
1986 72–70 4th John Boles / Frank Funk
1987 64–76 7th (t) John Wathan / Frank Funk
1988 81–61 2nd Glenn Ezell Lost League Championship 3–1 vs. Indianapolis Indians
1989 74–72 3rd (t) Sal Rende Lost League Championship 3–2 vs. Indianapolis Indians
1990 86–60 1st Sal Rende Won League Championship 3–2 vs. Nashville Sounds; Won Triple-A Classic 4–1 vs. Rochester Red Wings
1991 73–71 5th Sal Rende
1992 67–77 6th (t) Jeff Cox
1993 70–74 5th Jeff Cox
1994 68–76 6th Jeff Cox
1995 76–68 3rd Mike Jirschele Lost Division Series 3–1 vs. Buffalo Bisons
1996 79–65 2nd Mike Jirschele Lost Division Series 3–1 vs. Oklahoma City 89ers
1997 61–83 8th Mike Jirschele
Pacific Coast League
1998 79–64 4th (t) Ron Johnson
1999 81–60 3rd Ron Johnson Lost Conference Championship 3–1 vs. Oklahoma RedHawks
2000 64–79 11th John Mizerock
2001 70–74 10th John Mizerock
2002 76–68 4th Bucky Dent
2003 70–73 11th Mike Jirschele
2004 71–73 9th Mike Jirschele
2005 72–72 8th Mike Jirschele
2006 53–91 16th Mike Jirschele
2007 73–71 3rd Mike Jirschele
2008 63–81 3rd Mike Jirschele
2009 64–80 4th Mike Jirschele
2010 81–63 3rd Mike Jirschele
2011 79–63 1st Mike Jirschele Won 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
2012 83–61 1st Mike Jirschele Won American Conference 3–2 vs. Albuquerque Isotopes; Lost PCL Championship 3–1 vs. Reno Aces
2013 70–74 1st Mike Jirschele Won 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

2014 76–67 1st Brian Poldberg Won American Conference 3–1 vs. Memphis Redbirds; Won PCL Championship 3–2 vs. Reno Aces;

Won Triple-A National Championship vs. Pawtucket Red Sox

TOTAL 3,283–3,227 American 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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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 births, two Pacific Coast League titles, and a National Championship. He accumulated 995 wins during his 14 seasons in Omaha.

Awards and league leaders[edit]

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

PCL ERA Champions

PCL Batting Champion

  • Jeremy Giambi, 1998, .372
  • Mark Quinn, 1999, .360

PCL Homerun Champion

  • Chris Hatcher, 1998, 46

Single-season team records[edit]

Offensive[edit]

Pitching[edit]

Triple-A All-Stars[edit]

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)

Roster[edit]

Omaha Storm Chasers roster
Players Coaches/Other

Pitchers

Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

Manager

Coaches


Injury icon 2.svg 7-day disabled list
* On Kansas City Royals 40-man roster
# Rehab assignment
∞ Reserve list
‡ Restricted list
§ Suspended list
† Temporary inactive list
Roster updated June 30, 2015
Transactions · Coaching staff
More MiLB rosters
Kansas City Royals minor league players

Team affiliations[edit]

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[edit]

  • 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.[4]

References[edit]

External links[edit]