Storm Chasers to Retire No. 27 in Honor of Brian Poldberg
PAPILLION, Neb. - The Omaha Storm Chasers will retire No. 27 in honor of former Omaha manager and player Brian Poldberg, the organization announced Thursday.
A ceremony to formally retire Poldberg's number is scheduled for Saturday, April 30.
"It's a great honor to have your number retired," Poldberg said. "I've been around this organization my entire life-I remember going to Rosenblatt Stadium as a kid and watching Frank White and George Brett play there when they were in Omaha. To then play for the team and manage the team and now to have my number alongside theirs and the others is special. I'm grateful to the organization for this honor and to my family and the Royals for all of their support."
Poldberg becomes the sixth person to have his number retired by the Omaha franchise, joining George Brett (No. 5), Dick Howser (No. 10), Frank White (No. 20), Mike Jirschele (No. 23), and Jackie Robinson (No. 42). Brett, Howser, and White's numbers were retired across the Kansas City Royals organization and Robinson's number was retired across Major League Baseball. Poldberg's number joins Jirschele's as the only numbers retired solely by the Omaha franchise.
"We're so proud to honor Poley and see his number retired at Werner Park," Storm Chasers President Martie Cordaro said. "He left a lasting mark on this franchise and in the Omaha metro and we couldn't be more excited to celebrate him with our Chasers Family in April."
"Poley's accomplishments with our organization already created a lasting legacy and now there will be a physical representation of his legacy here at Werner Park for fans to enjoy for years to come," Storm Chasers Vice President/General Manager Laurie Schlender said. "This honor is well-deserved, and we're thrilled to be able to share it with him and his family.
Poldberg, 64, retired from managing following the 2021 season with a career record of 1,355-1,409 (.490) in 21 seasons as a minor league manager, including a 480-495 (.492) record in seven seasons as the Storm Chasers' manager. He ranks second in franchise history both in wins (480) and seasons (7), trailing only Jirschele, who won 995 games in 14 seasons as Omaha's skipper. Poldberg first coached for Omaha in 1991 as hitting coach under Sal Rende before being named manager in 2014.
In his first season as the Storm Chasers' manager, Poldberg led the team to a division title, Pacific Coast League Championship, and Triple-A National Championship to become the first Omaha manager since Jack McKeon in 1969 to win a league championship in his first season. In 2021-his final season as Omaha's manager-his team posted a 73-56 (.566) record, the eighth-best winning percentage in franchise history. His 2015 squad went 80-64 (.556) to notch the seventh 80+ win season in franchise history and the ninth-best winning percentage in franchise history.
Since becoming the 18th manager in Omaha franchise history (and the second in the Storm Chasers era) in 2014, 63 players have graduated from the Storm Chasers to make their Major League debut, including 51 with the Royals.
"The retirement of a baseball man's number is one of the highest honors he can receive," Kansas City Royals President of Baseball Operations Dayton Moore said. "Brian Poldberg's accomplishments and many highlights are forever on record and in the memories of many of the players he coached and managed. On behalf of the Royals and all of our fans, congratulations to Brian, Lori, Adam, Deric, and John."
"We are proud to have been associated with Poley for so many years," Kansas City Royals Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations/General Manager J.J. Picollo said. "He has contributed to many players successes and certainly has had a tremendous impact on the game of baseball in Omaha. The retirement of his number is well-deserved and we couldn't be happier to see him honored in this way."
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. In both seasons, 1998 and 2010, Poldberg was named the organization's Dick Howser Award winner, given to the organization's most outstanding player development person.
An Omaha native and Carter Lake, Iowa, resident, Poldberg began his 33-year coaching career in 1987 as a coach with the Appleton Foxes before becoming the team's skipper in 1988. Poldberg continued his coaching career in the Royals organization in 1990 with Baseball City and served as Omaha's hitting coach in 1991 before managing Memphis in 1992, Eugene in 1994, Springfield in 1995, and Lansing in 1996 before beginning 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, first base coach in 2006, and third base coach in 2007. Between his season as Wilmington's 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. He joined the Royals organization for the first time in 1983, playing 179 games for his hometown Omaha Royals between 1983 and 1985.
The Omaha Storm Chasers are scheduled to begin the 2022 season on April 5 at Indianapolis before welcoming fans to Werner Park for the home opener on April 12 vs. Louisville.
For more tickets and more information, please visit omahastormchasers.com, call the Werner Park Ticket office at (402) 738-5100, and follow the team on social media. You can follow the team on Twitter @omastormchasers, on Instagram @omahastormchasers, and "like" the team on Facebook at facebook.com/omahastormchasers.
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International League Stories from January 27, 2022
- Storm Chasers to Retire No. 27 in Honor of Brian Poldberg - Omaha Storm Chasers
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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.
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