Storm Chasers Manager Brian Poldberg to Retire from Managing
PAPILLION, Neb. - Storm Chasers manager Brian Poldberg announced his retirement from managing on Thursday.
Poldberg, 64, has managed the Omaha Storm Chasers since 2014, winning 475 games over seven seasons (2014-pres.). Poldberg ranks second in Omaha franchise history in both wins (475) and seasons (7), trailing only Mike Jirschele (995 wins in 14 seasons). Since beginning his managerial career in 1988, Poldberg has amassed 1,350 wins across 21 seasons, sixth-most all-time among active minor league managers. He first coached for Omaha in 1991, when he served as the hitting coach for Sal Rende.
"The time's here," Storm Chasers manager Brian Poldberg said. "I've been in it for 40-plus years and my body's telling me that it's harder to get out there every day and do the things that I feel I need to do to do the job right. After 41 years of being in baseball and being married for 36, I've never spent a summer with my family, so I'm looking forward to that. It's been a great honor to have played for and managed my hometown team. It's odd to be in professional baseball and be in your hometown and work and I've been very fortunate the last seven years to do that."
In his first season as Storm Chasers skipper, Poldberg led the team to a division title, Pacific Coast League Championship, and Triple-A National Championship, becoming the first manager since Jack McKeon in 1969 to win a league championship in his first season. The 2015 team recorded an 80-64 record-marking the seventh 80+ win season in franchise history-and posted a .556 winning percentage-tied for the eighth-best single-season winning percentage in franchise history.
"Unselfish commitment is the phrase that comes to mind when thinking of Poley's coaching career," Storm Chasers president Martie Cordaro said. "He has dedicated his life to helping players realize their baseball goals and dreams. I am honored to have been able to work with Poley the last seven years of his managerial career."
"It's been a pleasure working with Poley over the last several years," Storm Chasers vice president and general manager Laurie Schlender said. "He's made an incredible impact at Werner Park and throughout our community and while we congratulate him on a well-deserved retirement, we will certainly miss him."
Since becoming the 18th manager in Omaha's franchise history in 2014, 49 players have gone on to make their Major League debuts with the Kansas City Royals, including four during the 2021 season (Sebastian Rivero, Jackson Kowar, Emmanuel Rivera, Dylan Coleman).
Prior to joining the Storm Chasers, Poldberg spent six seasons (2008-2013) as the manager for the Double-A Northwest Arkansas Naturals. His Naturals teams reached the postseason each of his first four seasons at Arvest Ballpark and won the Texas League Championship in 2010 after posting an 86-54 record. Poldberg also won a Carolina League title in 1998 with the Wilmington Blue Rocks. He was the Royals' Dick Howser Award winner, given to the organization's most outstanding player development person, in 1998 and 2010.
"We're so thankful for all [Poldberg] has done not only for baseball but surely the Kansas City Royals," Kansas City Royals president of baseball operations Dayton Moore said. "[Poldberg] has touched every generation of player that we've had come through here and future generations are going to be continually impacted because of [Poldberg's] great effort."
The Omaha native and Carter Lake, Iowa, resident began his 33-year coaching career in 1987 as a coach with the Appleton Foxes before becoming the team's skipper in 1988. That season, he managed Tom "Flash" Gordon, who made 17 starts for Appleton before making three starts with Omaha en route to winning Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year honors. Poldberg continued his career in the Royals organization in 1990 with Baseball City, continued in 1992 with Memphis, managed Eugene in 1994, Springfield in 1995, and Lansing in 1996 before his stint with Wilmington in 1998.
Poldberg spent the 2004-2007 seasons on the Royals' Major League staff, serving as the team's bullpen coach from 2004-2005, the first base coach in 2006, and third base coach in 2007. Between his season as Wilmington Blue Rocks' manager in 1998 and joining the Royals' Major League staff in 2004, Poldberg spent seven seasons as the organization's catching instructor.
Prior to his coaching career, Poldberg spent parts of six seasons as a player, making his professional debut in the New York Yankees' organization with Greensboro in 1980. He played for the Nashville Sounds in 1981 and 1982, where he was teammates with current Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly and former Major League manager Buck Showalter in 1981.
He joined the Royals organization for the first time in 1983, playing 179 games for his hometown Omaha Royals between 1983 and 1985. Poldberg is the sixth manager in team history to have previously played for Omaha, trailing only Ron Johnson (329 games) in games played for the franchise before becoming manager.
Poldberg's final home game as Storm Chasers manager will be on Sunday, September 26, at Werner Park when the Storm Chasers host the Indianapolis Indians for the final home game of the 2021 season. First pitch is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. For tickets and more information, visit omahastormchasers.com or call the Werner Park Ticket Office at (402) 738-5100 and follow the team on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
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