Tag Archive | "Omaha Neb"

Jirschele Returns to Omaha for 13th Season

Jirschele Returns to Omaha for 13th Season
Gregg, Henry, Iannicca also back to defend Pacific Coast League crown

OMAHA, Neb. — Mike Jirschele, recently presented with Minor League Baseball’s 2011 Mike Coolbaugh award, will return for his 13th season at the helm of the Triple-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. The Clintonville, Wisc., native will lead the Storm Chasers in their quest to defend their Pacific Coast League Championship, the team’s first league title since 1990.

Jirschele, 52, has a career managerial record of 1055-999 dating back to 1992, all with the Kansas City organization. That includes a mark of 842-883 in Omaha, with stints from 1995-97 and 2003 through this past season. He is a four-time winner of the Royals’ Dick Howser Award, given for his excellence in 1992, 1994, 2005 and 2011.

Joining the veteran skipper will be hitting coach Tommy Gregg (fourth season in Omaha) and pitching coach Doug Henry (third season in Omaha).

Gregg, a veteran of nine major league seasons, helped blossoming young stars Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Johnny Giavotella, Manny Pina and Salvador Perez make their big league debuts during the 2011 campaign. His leadership was evident when Jirschele was on personal leave during the middle of the year, as Gregg served as the de facto manager and helped maintain the team’s lead in the American Conference Northern Division standings.

Henry, who pitched 11 seasons in the majors – including one with the Royals – led a pitching staff that survived several big-league call-ups and featured PCL Pitcher of the Year Luis Mendoza, who recorded a sensational 2.18 ERA in 144.1 innings. Henry put together a rotation that led the league in earned run average in the months of April, July and August, with August’s 3.21 ERA pacing the circuit by nearly a full run over Nashville’s 4.10 mark.

Assisting the on-field staff will be returning athletic trainer Dave Iannicca and newcomer Joey Greany, who will serve as the Chasers’ strength and conditioning coach.

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Royals Begin Caravan With Local Autograph Event

ROYALS BEGIN CARAVAN WITH LOCAL AUTOGRAPH EVENT ON JANUARY 11
Rally House Event Featuring Chen, Gordon, Hosmer & More Opens Annual Caravan; Additional Stops in Kansas City & Nebraska Also on Tap for First Week of Caravan

KANSAS CITY, MO (January 9, 2012) – The annual Royals Caravan presented by FOX Sports Kansas City opens with a free autograph event for fans in the Kansas City area on Wednesday, January 11. Several Royals will appear at the Rally House: Independence Superstore from 6-8 p.m. to launch the club’s winter tradition.

Beginning in 1968, the Royals have embarked on the annual Royals Caravan to visit fans throughout the Midwest. This January, several current and former Royals players, broadcasters and front office personnel will join Royals mascot Sluggerrr for Caravan events.

In addition to the Rally House event, the first week of Royals Caravan will also feature public stops in Lincoln and Omaha, Neb., as well as private visits to veterans at VA Hospital in Kansas City and troops stationed at Whiteman Air Force Base.

Royals scheduled to appear during the first week include pitcher Bruce Chen, second baseman Johnny Giavotella, first baseman Eric Hosmer and outfielders Lorenzo Cain, Alex Gordon and Mitch Maier. In addition, Hall of Famer George Brett, Royals Hall of Famer Dennis Leonard, former third baseman Joe Randa and broadcasters Denny Matthews and Ryan Lefebvre are also scheduled to participate.

A tentative schedule of Caravan events for Wednesday, January 11-Friday, January 13 is available at www.royals.com/caravan.

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Chasers Collect Fourth-Straight ‘Best of Omaha’ Award

Chasers Collect Fourth-Straight ‘Best of Omaha’ Award
Omaha Magazine readers tab Storm Chasers as Omaha’s Best Sports Team

OMAHA, Neb. — The Omaha Storm Chasers have been named Omaha’s Best Sports Team by the readers of Omaha Magazine, continuing a four-year run as the first-place selection. The announcement comes on the heels of the Chasers’ Pacific Coast League Championship season and the highly-successful opening of brand-new Werner Park in 2011.

“Even though we received several national accolades throughout the 2011 season, being named Best of Omaha is perhaps the most fulfilling for our organization,” said team president and general manager Martie Cordaro. “The overwhelming positive support from fans and readers of Omaha Magazine throughout the metro area is special. This award signifies the endorsement of all our efforts over the past few years and we couldn’t be more thankful.”

This year’s contest, the 20th in the history of Omaha Magazine’s Best of Omaha program, garnered more than 424,000 votes by just over 20,000 readers – both all-time records. The 424,000 votes cast is just shy of the Storm Chasers’ total attendance this past season of 425,742, the club’s highest total since 1997.

Check out the Omaha Storm Chasers Franchise Highlight Sheets by clicking here. (PDF File)

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Storm Chasers Release 2012 Schedule

Storm Chasers Release 2012 Schedule
Opening Night at Werner Park set for 7:05 p.m. on Thursday, April 5

 

Photo By Erika Lynn

OMAHA, Neb. — The defending Pacific Coast League Champion Omaha Storm Chasers have officially set their complete 2012 baseball schedule, the club announced Thursday.

Werner Park, entering its second season as the home of Triple-A baseball in Omaha, will host 72 Storm Chasers games between Thursday, April 5 and Sunday, August 26, plus up to five September playoff games if necessary. Full-season, half-season, 20-game and 7-game Holiday packages are currently available to the general public online at www.omahastormchasers.com, by visiting the Werner Park ticket office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., or by calling(402) 738-5100.

The season will kick off with a special Championship Weekend celebration against the Albuquerque Isotopes, Triple-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Beginning on Thursday, April 5 at 7:05 p.m., the Chasers will celebrate Opening Night, two consecutive nights of fireworks, a ring ceremony, a banner raising and a weekend of giveaways.

Albuquerque will be back in town to celebrate America’s Independence, as the Isotopes return from Saturday, June 30 through Tuesday, July 3, with fireworks on July 2 plus the highly-anticipated 20-plus minute fireworks extravaganza wrapping up the homestand on July 3.

Round Rock, the Triple-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers and 2011 playoff opponent, will visit Werner Park twice in the opening two months of the season. They will visit from Monday, April 9 through Thursday, April 12 and again Thursday, June 7 through Sunday, June 10. The division rival Iowa Cubs will be in town from Tuesday, May 29 through Friday, June 1 and Thursday, July 12 through Sunday, July 15.

If Omaha is able to chase down its second-straight division title, the Storm Chasers would host Games 1 and 2 of the American Conference Championship Series September 5-6 and Games 3, 4 and 5 (if necessary) of the Pacific Coast League Championship Series September 14-16.

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Giavotella Named to Topps Triple-A All-Star Team

Giavotella Named to Topps Triple-A All-Star Team
Storm Chasers’ second baseman adds to season of accolades

OMAHA, Neb. — Former Omaha Storm Chasers second baseman Johnny Giavotella has been named to the prestigious Topps Triple-A All-Star Team, Minor League Baseball announced Tuesday. The team, made up of just nine total players, features five Pacific Coast League stars and four International League stars.

Giavotella, 24, hit .338 in 110 games for the Storm Chasers this season, collecting 153 hits including 34 doubles, nine home runs, 72 runs batted in and 67 runs scored. The 2011 Pacific Coast League All-Star starter was one of the hottest hitters in baseball over the months of June and July, batting .391 (90-for-130) with 31 extra-base hits during the two-month stretch. He was honored as the PCL’s Player of the Month for June and was also named to the postseason All-Pacific Coast League team.

Following his promotion to the Kansas City Royals on August 5, Giavotella hit .247 (44-for-178) with two home runs, nine doubles, four triples and 21 RBI in 46 games. He collected his first MLB hit against the Detroit Tigers’ Rick Porcello, singled a day later against Detroit ace Justin Verlander and belted his first-career homer off of the Tigers’ Max Scherzer.

The Louisiana native was selected out of the University of New Orleans in the second round (49th overall) of the 2008 draft. He hit .299 for Class-A Burlington that summer, .258 in 2009 for High-A Wilmington and .322 for the 2010 Texas League Champion Northwest Arkansas Naturals.

Giavotella is joined on the Topps Triple-A All-Stars by Bryan LaHair (Iowa/Chicago Cubs), Gil Velazquez (Salt Lake/Los Angeles Angels), Russ Canzler (Durham/Tampa Bay Rays), Devin Mesoraco (Louisville/Cincinnati Reds), Collin Cowgill (Reno/Arizona Diamondbacks), Alejandro de Aza (Charlotte/Chicago White Sox), Julio Teheran (Gwinnett/Atlanta Braves) and former Omaha Royal Jai Miller (Sacramento/Oakland Athletics).

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Schlender Promoted to Assistant General Manager

Schlender Promoted to Assistant General Manager
Becomes highest-ranking female employee in team history

OMAHA, Neb. — Laurie Schlender has been named the Omaha Storm Chasers’ Assistant General Manager of Business Operations, the club announced Wednesday. She becomes the highest-ranking female employee in the 43-year history of the organization dating back to 1969.

“Laurie has been an integral part of nearly all major decisions involving the franchise since I became GM,” said Martie Cordaro, currently the club’s President and General Manager. “It’s always great to recognize performance, loyalty and dedication, and this is a well-deserved opportunity to credit Laurie for her commitment to the organization over the past dozen years.”

Schlender, a native of Quimby, Iowa, has lived in Omaha for more than 25 years. She began her career as a CPA for Arthur Andersen, before starting a consulting practice with non-profit clients in the Omaha area. She worked on a part-time basis for six-and-a-half years with Completely Kids (formerly Camp Fire USA-Midlands), while also providing part-time accounting assistance for the then-Omaha Royals in the team’s business office.

In March 2008, the newly-minted GM Cordaro offered Schlender an opportunity to move into a full-time role with the baseball franchise, and she quickly became a central figure in the team’s office management, information technology, risk management and community relations efforts. During the move to Werner Park at the tail end of 2010, Schlender spearheaded the implementation of an updated IT solution, put together security procedures for the new facility and was involved in every capital expenditure.

“Fans of the Storm Chasers may not know this, but Laurie’s input led to the creation of each of the amenities they see throughout Werner Park,” Cordaro said.

In the community, the Midland Lutheran College graduate has been actively involved with St. Andrew’s Church since it began more than 15 years ago. Schlender has also volunteered extensively in the Millard Public Schools system and is currently involved with the Millard North Band Boosters and Millard North Show Choirs. She resides in Omaha with her husband, Greg, and their three children.

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Chasers On A Roll, Take Game Two

Offense Comes Alive in Game 2 Victory
Chasers collect 18 hits in 15-4 romp; need one win for first PCL title

Mike Feigen / Omaha Storm Chasers

OMAHA, Neb. — The Omaha Storm Chasers had a memorable inaugural season at Werner Park, ushering in a new era of Kansas City Royals prospects, winning the franchise’s first division crown since 1999 and hitting a series-ending walk-off home run to advance past the conference championship round. The home slate ended on a high note Wednesday night, as the Chasers crushed the River Cats 15-4 in Game 2 of the Pacific Coast League Championship Series, moving to within one win of a league title.

Just as they did during the division-clinching game against Round Rock on August 31, the Storm Chasers fell behind early before cruising to victory. Sacramento jumped out to 3-0, first-inning lead off eventual winning pitcher Vin Mazzaro, capping the inning with a two-run home run to right off the bat of Adrian Cardenas. Mazzaro (2-0) would escape further damage, working five total innings while allowing three runs on six hits. He walked four and struck out two, throwing 91 pitches.

Omaha got back in the game with a run in the first and another in the second before crossing the plate five times with two out in the third. River Cats starter Tyson Ross (0-2) took the brunt of the offensive assault, finishing his evening after 2.2 innings, allowing seven runs – four earned – on nine hits, walking one while striking out three.

With runners on first and second and two down in the third, Irving Falu hit a slow bouncer toward short that looked like it would end the inning. However, the ball took a funny hop and skipped off the glove of shortstop Tyler Ladendorf, loading the bases. Manny Pina then dropped a two run single into shallow left-field, giving the Chasers a 4-3 lead in the game. A fielding error and two singles followed, and by the time the inning was over the Storm Chasers held a 7-3 advantage.

After Sacramento inched closer with a run in the top of the sixth, Omaha put its collective foot on the gas and didn’t let up. The Chasers scored twice in the sixth, three times in the seventh and three more times in the eighth, piling up 18 hits in the contest. Jarrod Dyson finished 4-for-6 with a homer, four RBI, three runs, a double and a stolen base in the winning effort, tripling his total playoff output of two hits entering the night.

David Lough and Clint Robinson also had three-hit games, each tallying a double and two runs batted in. The Chasers had five doubles on the night from five different players and had six players with multi-hit games.

Kevin Pucetas, Brandon Sisk, Zach Miner and Federico Castaneda combined for four innings of relief, allowing a run on three hits and two walks, striking out three batters. With a travel day coming up Thursday, manager Mike Jirschele should have a fully-rested bullpen for any remaining series games.

The Chasers are now 5-1 in the playoffs, needing just one win on the road in Sacramento to claim the first Pacific Coast League Championship in franchise history and first league title since 1990. In the potentially-clinching Game 3, 22-year-old California native and left-hander Mike Montgomery (5-11, 5.32 ERA regular season) will take the mound in his home state for the first time in his career. On the mound for the River Cats will be right-hander Travis Banwart (3-3, 7.38), a pitcher the Storm Chasers have not seen this season.

Friday’s first pitch is scheduled for 9:05 p.m. central from Raley Field in Sacramento. The game can be heard on 1620 The Zone and the Chasers will also host a watch party at Brewsky’s on 156th & Q. Should Omaha win the PCL Championship, the Chasers would battle the International League champion in a one-game playoff on Tuesday in Albuquerque, N.M. First pitch of that contest would be 7:05 p.m., with the game broadcast nationally on VERSUS.

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Chasers Take Game 1 of Championship Series

Chasers Take Game 1 of Championship Series
Omaha pitching holds River Cats attack to three hits in series opener

Mike Feigen / Omaha Storm Chasers

OMAHA, Neb. — Storm Chasers left-fielder David Lough scampered around third and crossed the plate uncontested, scoring the most improbable of go-ahead runs in the Chasers’ 3-2 victory over Sacramento Tuesday night. The win gave Omaha a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five Pacific Coast League Championship Series, the second-straight series in which they have grabbed a Game 1 victory.

The decisive bottom of the seventh inning began innocently enough, as Kurt Mertins and Jarrod Dyson were retired to start the frame with the Chasers and River Cats tied 2-2. Lough then lashed a hard grounder toward the right-field corner, but as he charged toward second he tumbled and fell to the ground, finding himself on his hands and knees on the infield dirt. Somehow he managed to return safely to first ahead of the throw, keeping the inning alive.

Lorenzo Cain then stepped into the box, already 2-for-3 on the day to raise his batting average to .500 (11-for-22) for the postseason. Cain took a big cut at the first offering from Vinnie Chulk (0-1), popping it high in the air toward shallow right field. Grant Green raced in from his position in deep right-center while second baseman Wes Timmons turned and ran toward the line, but neither player found himself in position and the ball kicked off Timmons’ glove and rolled away. Lough sprinted home all the way from first on the Cain single, giving Omaha the lead for good.

By scoring in the seventh, Omaha starter Luis Mendoza (2-0) was given an opportunity to win for the second time in the playoffs and the 14th time this season. He closed the year with victories in his final four starts and has run that streak to six-straight counting the postseason. Mendoza is 14-5 with a 2.10 ERA overall this year, including 13-2 with a 1.33 ERA in 128.2 innings since May 26.

Mendoza got some help not only from Cain’s blooper but from Kelvin Herrera, who earned the save with two dominant innings. Following up on his excellent performance in Game 1 vs. Round Rock, Herrera fired two perfect innings, striking out two. In his two postseason outings totaling four innings, Herrera has retired all 12 batters he has faced – striking out six – throwing 43 pitches, 34 for strikes.

The Chasers got Mendoza an early lead, thanks to a nice piece of two-out hitting by shortstop Irving Falu. With the bases loaded and two out in the bottom of the first, Falu chopped an offering from Sacramento right-hander Graham Godfrey over the mound for an infield hit, scoring Jarrod Dyson to give Omaha an early 1-0 advantage.

The lead would hold up until two were down in the fourth, when Josh Donaldson drilled an opposite-field home run to knot the game at 1-1. The hit was the first of the game for Sacramento, one of just three they would wind up with on the night. The River Cats added to their lead in the top of the sixth inning, when a Carter RBI double brought home Jermaine Mitchell from first base to make it a 2-1 advantage for the visitors.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Chasers rallied to tie the score. Manny Pina looped a two-out single down the right-field line to get aboard safely, and last-minute starter Lance Zawadzki brought him in with an RBI double off the wall in right to tie the game and put the Chasers in a position to win. The double was Zawadzki’s first hit since the sixth inning of the Chasers’ 11-10 win at New Orleans on August 28, snapping a personal 0-for-24 skid at the plate.

With the victory, the Chasers are now 4-1 in the playoffs, with just one more game remaining at Werner Park during the magical 2011 season. Right-hander Vin Mazzaro (8-2, 4.22 including postseason) will get the ball to face his former team, while Tyson Ross (3-3, 7.38 including postseason) will pitch for the River Cats. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m., with gates at 5:45. Tickets are available at the Werner Park ticket office, by phone at (402) 738-5100 and online at www.omahastormchasers.com.

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Minor League Playoffs

Over the weekend, the Royals AAA affiliate moved forward to their league’s championship series while the AA affiliate’s season came to a close. Below are the respective press releases from both clubs:

Kila

Ka’aihue Powers Chasers into PCL Championship Series
Dramatic walk-off home run in 10th gives Omaha American Conference Title

Mike Feigen / Omaha Storm Chasers

OMAHA, Neb. — Kila Ka’aihue has been a man of few words this season, so it was no surprise that with the Chasers on the brink of a playoff series victory, he let his bat do the talking. Ka’aihue’s 316-foot drive down the right-field line had just enough juice to hit the foul pole, giving the Storm Chasers a dramatic 4-2 series-winning victory over the Round Rock Express in 10 innings Saturday afternoon at Werner Park. Video clip of Ka’aihue HR

Long before the Chasers celebrated their win, the hero of the day was Omaha right-hander Sean O’Sullivan. Tasked with holding back the potent Express offense, O’Sullivan carried a perfect game into the seventh inning and a no-hitter into the eighth, with the Chasers clinging to a 2-0 lead.

However, with just six outs to go, disaster struck. Joey Butler hit a grounder directly at second baseman Kurt Mertins, who was unable to field it and was charged with an error. No-hitter still intact, O’Sullivan then served up a mammoth two-run home run to Luis Cruz, knotting the game at 2-2 and giving Round Rock its first hit of the day.

O’Sullivan bounced back to close out the inning, but the damage had been done. Not only had the dream of a no-hitter been dashed, but the Chasers were in jeopardy of losing the game altogether. O’Sullivan finished his day with eight innings pitched, giving up two runs (one earned) on two hits, with one walk and seven strikeouts.

After each team got two runners on in the ninth but couldn’t score, Kevin Pucetas (1-0) pitched a 1-2-3 top of the 10th to set up the game-winning sequence.

With one out, Clint Robinson drew a five-pitch walk, bringing Ka’aihue to the plate. He worked the count to 1-1 before connecting off Round Rock’s Tanner Scheppers (0-1) to end the game, setting off a celebration at home plate and an even more wild party in the clubhouse moments later.

The walk-off home run was Ka’aihue’s second of the season at Werner Park, also delivering on June 28 against Memphis. Over his last two games, the left-handed swinging first baseman has gone 3-for-6 with two homers and six runs batted in, picking up a two-run homer and two-run double in Friday night’s extra-inning loss.

With the 3-1 series victory, the Chasers advance to their first-ever PCL Championship Series in their 14th season in the league. They also earned their first postseason series victory since 1990, when they won the Triple-A Championship as a member of the American Association.

The Chasers will begin the PCL Championship Series at home, as they host either the Reno Aces or Sacramento River Cats. Games 1 and 2 will be played Tuesday, September 13 and Wednesday, September 14 at Werner Park, with both games scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

Travs win, bounce Naturals from playoffs
Jimenez’ two homers, four RBI end up the difference

SPRINGDALE, AR – The Naturals, like so many times late this season, fell behind early and mounted a spirited comeback. But unfortunately the magic ran out as they fell 9-5 to their in-state rival Arkansas Travelers, as the Travs advance to the Texas League Championship Series.

A first inning error gave the Travelers an extra out to work with and they capitalized as Luis Jimenez gave the Travs the early lead with a three-run homer off Jeremy Jeffress with two out in the frame.

That put the Travs up 3-0 and gave their starter Eddie McKiernan some backing. McKiernan, who had a dubious start to the season for North Little Rock had limited the Naturals to just four runs in his past three starts against Northwest Arkansas. In the past two his team had staked him to a lead before he toed the rubber, and Saturday was no different.

North Little Rock got three more in the fourth before the Naturals began to claw their way back. But in the top of the fourth, Jeffress allowed a leadoff single to Alberto Rosario who would come around to score on an RBI single from Matt Long. An RBI groundout later and the Travs owned a 5-0 lead. Gabe Jacobo also added a two-out RBI single to score another run which chased Jeffress, who was on a limited pitch count and was relieved by Kendal Volz.

The Naturals finally began to get to McKiernan in the bottom of that same frame as Tim Smith led off the inning with a solo homer to right to cut the lead to 6-1. Jamie Romak and Paulo Orlando followed with back-to-back singles and Wil Myers was plunked. Jeff Bianchi followed and one of the pitches to him went wild to score Romak for a 2-0 lead. Bianchi grounded out to score Orlando and cut the Travs’ lead to 6-3, but McKiernan was able to get Mario Lisson to strike out and Ryan Eigsti to fly out to prevent further damage as the Naturals failed to claw closer in the frame.

One thing that ultimately kept the Naturals from closing the gap was struggles with runners in scoring position as the team was 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position Saturday as opposed to 5-for-16 for North Little Rock.

One of the other things was Luis Jimenez. The Travelers’ third baseman drove in his fourth run of the game to leadoff the fifth as he took Volz deep to extend the lead to 7-3.

Christian Colon’s one out single in the fifth ultimately chased McKiernan and prevented him from collecting the win. Instead that went to the tallest pitcher in the minors, Loek Van Mil, who relieved to pitch to Tim Smith, who had taken McKiernan deep earlier in the game. Smith lined out sharply as Travs’ shortstop Darwin Perez speared the ball and took away a hit from Smith and, with Colon at second after a wild pitch, likely a run from the Naturals.

One inning later the Naturals did get a pair and close to within 7-5, the closest they’d get in the ballgame. Jeff Bianchi had an RBI double and Eigsti plated a run on a groundout.

But in the top of the eighth, North Little Rock put two more runs on the board and that seemed to take the wind out of the Naturals’ sails. Facing Ryan Dennick, a lefty reliever making his Double-A debut after spending all season with Advanced Class-A Wilmington, Dennick allowed a one-out single to Darwin Perez and a two-out RBI double to Roberto Lopez. Dennick walked pinch hitter Chris Pettit and then Gable Jacobo doubled to the left-field wall to score Lopez.

An eighth inning single by Paulo Orlando was the lone hit the Naturals recorded the rest of the way as their season ended at the hands of the Travelers, who earn their second trip to the Texas League Championship Series in the past four seasons. They beat the Frisco RoughRiders to win the league title in 2008, a playoff run that began with a three-game sweep of the Naturals.

The series will be remembered somewhat for the absence of Naturals’ Pitcher of the Year Will Smith, who led the league in both wins and innings pitched. Smith was shut down at the behest of the Royals and the Naturals had to work without one of their most reliable arms down the stretch. As it was, should the Naturals had forced a game five, they’d have turned the ball over to southpaw Justin Marks, another pitcher who would have been making his Double-A debut.

The 2012 season opener will be on the road as the Naturals open the season with a six-game road trip beginning Thursday, April 5th. The home opener at Arvest Ballpark for the fifth season of Naturals Baseball will be on Thursday, April 12th as the Naturals host the Corpus Christi Hooks. The Naturals would like to thank all their fans and corporate partners for their continued support this season!

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Omaha’s Cordaro Voted PCL Executive of the Year

Cordaro Voted PCL Executive of the Year
Storm Chasers Vice President/General Manager honored by peers

OMAHA, Neb. — Omaha Storm Chasers Vice President/General Manager Martie Cordaro has been named the Pacific Coast League’s Executive of the Year, the league office and Storm Chasers announced Friday. This is Cordaro’s second honor of 2011, after previously being named with President Alan Stein as Ballpark Digest’s Co-Executives of the Year.

Martie Cordaro

Stein offered glowing praise for his colleague, with whom he has developed close relationship over the past seven years in Omaha as well as Battle Creek, Michigan.

“In a word, Martie Cordaro is the best,” Stein said. “His absolute commitment to excellence, to the fan experience and to giving back to the community are the hallmarks of his way of doing business. Martie’s integrity and leadership of his team set him apart. We are incredibly proud of his accomplishments and are honored to have him on our team.”

Cordaro, completing his fourth full season as GM and fifth as a member of the Omaha front office, ushered in a number of successful ventures this season including the completion and opening of brand-new Werner Park and the highly-successful re-branding of the Omaha Storm Chasers.

He has piloted the franchise to its highest revenues in team history each of the past three seasons and has helped the club to its sixth-straight year of increased attendance. He ushered in the 12-millionth fan in team history on August 5, and the 410,326 fans that passed through the Werner Park turnstiles during the 2011 regular season were the most since 2000.

“I am humbled to win this award, particularly because it was decided by a vote of my peers in the PCL,” Cordaro said. “This is another example of the effort and results that our organization and staff have put forth the past four years.

In addition to his PCL and Ballpark Digest Executive of the Year awards, Cordaro has been honored in the past by the Kansas City Royals as its 2009 Matt Minker Award winner, given to an outstanding minor league-affiliate employee. He was also recognized as one of the Midlands Business Journal’s “40 under 40” for 2009 and by the Omaha Suburban Newspapers as an “Under 40” winner in 2011.

A 38-year-old Ruston, La., native and Louisiana Tech graduate, Cordaro becomes the fourth Executive of the Year winner in the 43-year history of the Omaha franchise. He joins Bob Quinn (1969), Bill Gorman (1981, ’95) and Gus Cherry (1990) – all of the Triple-A American Association – as winners of the award.

Cordaro worked in the front offices of the West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx, Birmingham Barons and Southwest Michigan Devil Rays prior to joining the Omaha franchise. Martie and his wife Sara have three sons, Gavin, Collin and Cass.

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