Omaha Storm Chasers

Last updated

Omaha Storm Chasers
Founded in 1969
Papillion, Nebraska
Omaha Storm Chasers logo.svg Chasers cap.png
Team logoCap insignia
Minor league affiliations
Class Triple-A (1969–present)
League Triple-A East (2021–present)
DivisionMidwest Division
Previous leagues
Major league affiliations
Team 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
NameOmaha Storm Chasers (2011–present)
Previous names
  • Omaha Royals (2002–2010)
  • Omaha Golden Spikes (1999–2001)
  • Omaha Royals (1969–1998)
ColorsRoyal blue, twister gold, blackout black, powder blue [1]
    
MascotsStormy, Casey the Lion, Vortex, Sue Nami, and Sizzle [2]
Ballpark Werner Park (2011–present)
Previous parks
Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium (1969–2010)
Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
Alliance Baseball
President Martie Cordaro [3]
General ManagerLaurie Schlender [3]
Manager Brian Poldberg

The Omaha Storm Chasers are a Minor League Baseball team of the Triple-A East and the Triple-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. They are located in Papillion, Nebraska, a suburb southwest of Omaha, and play their home games at Werner Park which opened in 2011. The team previously played at Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium, home to the College World Series, from 1969 to 2010. [4]

Contents

The team has been the only Triple-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals since their inception in the 1969 Major League Baseball expansion. They were originally known as the Omaha Royals when they were established as a member of the Triple-A American Association in 1969. They joined the Pacific Coast League (PCL) in 1998, and were briefly known as the Omaha Golden Spikes (1999–2001) before reverting to their Royals name. They rebranded as the Storm Chasers in 2011. In conjunction with Major League Baseball's restructuring of Minor League Baseball in 2021, the team was organized into the Triple-A East.

Omaha has won seven league championships. Most recently, they won back-to-back PCL championships in 2013 and 2014. They previously won the PCL title in 2011. They also won the American Association championship in 1969, 1970, 1978, and 1990. They went on to win the Triple-A Classic in 1990 and the Triple-A National Championship Game in 2013 and 2014.

In 2016, Forbes listed the Storm Chasers as the 29th-most valuable Minor League Baseball team with a value of $27 million. [5]

Team history

The 2011 PCL champion Storm Chasers Omaha Storm Chasers 2011 PCL Champions.jpg
The 2011 PCL champion Storm Chasers

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. [6] 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. [7] Another Omaha All-Star in 2015, outfielder José Martínez, led the league in on-base percentage (OBP, .461) that year [8] and broke the PCL batting record with a .384 average. [9]

In conjunction with Major League Baseball's restructuring of Minor League Baseball in 2021, the Storm Chasers were organized into the 20-team Triple-A East. [10]

Season-by-season records

Table key
LeagueThe team's final position in the league standings
DivisionThe team's final position in the divisional standings
GB Games behind the team that finished in first place in the division that season
Double-dagger-14-plain.pngClass champions (1970–present)
Dagger-14-plain.pngLeague champions (1969–present)
§Conference champions (1998–2020)
*Division champions (1970–present)
^Postseason berth (1981–1997)
Season-by-season records
SeasonLeagueRegular seasonPostseasonMLB affiliateRef.
RecordWin %LeagueDivisionGBRecordWin %Result
1969
Dagger-14-plain.png
AA85–55.6071stWon AA championship [11] Kansas City Royals [12]
1970
* Dagger-14-plain.png
AA73–65.5291st1st5–5.500Won Eastern Division title
Won AA championship vs. Denver Bears, 4–1 [13]
Lost Junior World Series vs. Syracuse Chiefs [14]
Kansas City Royals [15]
1971AA69–70.4965th3rd15 Kansas City Royals [16]
1972AA71–69.5074th2nd12 Kansas City Royals [17]
1973AA62–73.4596th24thd20+12 Kansas City Royals [18]
1974AA54–82.3978th4th24+12 Kansas City Royals [19]
1975AA67–69.4936th3rd10 Kansas City Royals [20]
1976
*
PCL78–58.5742nd1st2–4.333Won Eastern Division title
Lost AA championship title vs. Denver Bears, 4–2 [21]
Kansas City Royals [22]
1977
*
PCL76–59.5631st1st2–4.333Won Western Division title
Lost AA championship title vs. Denver Bears, 4–2 [23]
Kansas City Royals [24]
1978
* Dagger-14-plain.png
AA66–69.4894th1st4–1.800Won Western Division title
Won AA championship vs. Indianapolis Indians, 4–1 [25]
Kansas City Royals [26]
1979AA65–71.4786th2nd7+12 Kansas City Royals [27]
1980AA66–70.4854th3rd26 Kansas City Royals [28]
1981
^ *
AA79–57.5811st1st3–6.333Won Western Division title vs. Springfield Redbirds, 3–2
Lost AA championship vs. Denver Bears, 4–0 [29]
Kansas City Royals [30]
1982
*
AA71–66.5184th1st2–4.333Won Western Division title
Lost AA championship vs. Indianapolis Indians, 4–2 [31]
Kansas City Royals [32]
1986AA64–72.4716th (tie)4th10 Kansas City Royals [33]
1984AA68–86.4428th23 Kansas City Royals [34]
1985AA73–69.5144th3rd6 Kansas City Royals [35]
1986AA72–70.5074th3rd4 Kansas City Royals [36]
1987AA64–76.4577th (tie)15 Kansas City Royals [37]
1988
*
AA81–61.5702nd1st1–3.250Won Western Division title
Lost AA championship vs. Indianapolis Indians, 3–1 [38]
Kansas City Royals [39]
1989
*
AA74–72.5073rd (tie)1st2–3.400Won Western Division title
Lost AA championship vs. Indianapolis Indians, 3–2 [40]
Kansas City Royals [41]
1990
* Dagger-14-plain.pngDouble-dagger-14-plain.png
AA86–60.5891st1st4–6.700Won Western Division title
Won AA championship vs. Nashville Sounds, 3–2 [42]
Won Triple-A Classic vs. Rochester Red Wings [14]
Kansas City Royals [43]
1991AA73–71.5075th3rd6 Kansas City Royals [44]
1992AA67–77.4656th (tie)3rd7 Kansas City Royals [45]
1993AA70–74.4865th3rd15 Kansas City Royals [46]
1994AA68–76.4726th18+12 Kansas City Royals [47]
1995
^
AA76–68.5283rd121–3.250Lost semifinals vs. Buffalo Bisons, 3–1 [48] Kansas City Royals [49]
1996
*
AA79–65.5492nd1st1–3.250Won Western Division title
Lost semifinals vs. Oklahoma City 89ers, 3–1 [50]
Kansas City Royals [51]
1997AA61–83.4247th4th13+12 Kansas City Royals [52]
1998PCL79–64.5524th (tie)2nd5+12 Kansas City Royals [53]
1999
*
PCL81–60.5743rd1st1–3.250Won American Conference Midwest Division title
Lost American Conference title vs. Oklahoma RedHawks, 3–1 [54]
Kansas City Royals [55]
2000PCL64–79.44811th3rd21+12 Kansas City Royals [56]
2001PCL70–74.48610th3rd13+12 Kansas City Royals [57]
2002PCL76–68.5284th2nd2 Kansas City Royals [58]
2003PCL70–73.49011th4th3+12 Kansas City Royals [59]
2004PCL71–73.4939th3rd8+12 Kansas City Royals [60]
2005PCL72–72.5008th2nd3 Kansas City Royals [61]
2006PCL53–91.36816th4th23 Kansas City Royals [62]
2007PCL73–71.5078th (tie)3rd16 Kansas City Royals [63]
2008PCL63–81.43814th3rd21 Kansas City Royals [64]
2009PCL64–80.44413th3rd13 Kansas City Royals [65]
2010PCL81–63.5633rd3rd1 Kansas City Royals [66]
2011
* § Dagger-14-plain.png
PCL79–63.5563rd1st6–2.750Won American Conference Northern Division title
Won American Conference title vs Round Rock Express, 3–1
Won PCL championship vs Sacramento River Cats, 3–0
Lost Triple-A championship vs Columbus Clippers [67]
Kansas City Royals [68]
2012
* §
PCL83–61.5762nd1st4–5.444Won American Conference Northern Division title
Won American Conference title vs. Albuquerque Isotopes, 3–2
Lost PCL championship vs. Reno Aces, 3–1
Kansas City Royals [69]
2013
* § Dagger-14-plain.pngDouble-dagger-14-plain.png
PCL70–74.48610th1st7–1.875Won American Conference Northern Division title
Won American Conference title vs. Oklahoma City RedHawks, 3–0
Won PCL championship vs. Salt Lake Bees, 3–1
Won Triple-A championship vs. Durham Bulls [70]
Kansas City Royals [71]
2014
* § Dagger-14-plain.pngDouble-dagger-14-plain.png
PCL76–67.5316th1st7–3.700Won American Conference Northern Division title
Won American Conference title vs. Memphis Redbirds, 3–1
Won PCL championship vs. Reno Aces, 3–2
Won Triple-A championship vs. Pawtucket Red Sox [72]
Kansas City Royals [73]
2015PCL80–64.5563rd (tie)2nd (tie)6 Kansas City Royals [74]
2016PCL58–82.41416th4th22+12 Kansas City Royals [75]
2017PCL69–72.4898th (tie)3rd13 Kansas City Royals [76]
2018PCL66–74.47112th (tie)3rd9 Kansas City Royals [77]
2019PCL59–80.42416th4th15+12 Kansas City Royals [78]
2020PCLSeason cancelled (COVID-19 pandemic) [79] Kansas City Royals [80]
Totals3,615–3,599.50152–56.481

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 to 1986, 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 to 1997 and 2003 to 2013, 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 (1998–2020) award winners.

Most Valuable Player

Rookie of the Year

Most Valuable Pitcher

Manager of the Year

PCL ERA Champions

PCL Batting Champion

PCL Homerun Champion

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

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

Roster

Omaha Storm Chasers roster
PlayersCoaches/Other

Pitchers

Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

Manager

Coaches

60-day injured list

Injury icon 2.svg 7-day injured list
* On Kansas City Royals 40-man roster
~ Development list
# Rehab assignment
∞ Reserve list
‡ Restricted list
§ Suspended list
± Taxi squad
† Temporarily inactive list
Roster updated June 4, 2021
Transactions
→ More rosters: MiLB    Triple-A East
Kansas City Royals minor league players

Ownership history

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