The 2011 Omaha Storm Chasers received their PCL championship rings this week, photo courtesy of Ethan Bryan

Storm Chasers Receive Rings in Surprise

Last season the Omaha Storm Chasers captured the Pacific Coast League title, which was the first league championship for the franchise since 1990. It was also the first time playing in the postseason since 1999.

Several current Kansas City Royals played in Omaha and received their PCL championship rings earlier this week from general manager Dayton Moore and Storm Chasers GM Marty Cordaro. Nine players from Omaha’s roster made the big leagues last year, but that didn’t stop the team from bringing home the title.

Celebrating minor league success during spring training has become a common thing since 2008.  Last spring they honored Northwest Arkansas’s title and of course the triple-A squad from last year. The Naturals have been in the postseason three times in the last six seasons (2006, ’09, ’10). Idaho Falls won divisional titles in back-to-back seasons of 2006 and ’07 and Burlington in 2008.

Six players played on all three of those championship teams: Ryan Eigsti, Johnny Giavotella, Mike Moustakas, Clint Robinson, Danny Duffy and Brandon Sisk. Ex-Royal Jeff Suppan wasn’t at the ceremony due to him starting for the San Diego Padres.

For long-time manager Mike Jirschele, it was the first time of tasting postseason success after two first round losses in 1995 and ‘96 for the then Omaha Royals.

Hopefully the next step for Kansas City is the success that the current nucleus of the team translates to success in the major leagues. Other franchises have seen rewards once highly rated talent reached the parent club such as the Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins to name a few. Albert Belle, Jim Thome, Manny Ramirez and Charles Nagy helped the mid-90’s were part of the Indians young that meshed with the teams veterans. After the 2002 season the tribe again aquired young talent such as Brandon Phillips, Cliff Lee, Grady Sizemore and Travis Hafner.

Minnesota who was had a great run of success got things going with a roster which included home grown talent such as Torii Hunter, Jacque Jones, A.J. Pierzynski, Doug Mientkiewicz and Johan Santana to name a few.

For myself and I’m sure many of you who bleed blue, you’re glad to see the importance Moore has put in bringing players up level-by-level since he took the job. The confidence that this group has by winning together without a doubt has fans believing that this coming season might actually be “Our Time”.

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Tags: A.J. Pierzynski AL Central Albert Belle Baseball Brandon Phil Brandon Sisk Charles Nagy Cleveland Indians Cliff Lee Clint Robinson Danny Duffy Dayton Moore Doug Mientkiewicz Grady Sizemore Jacque Jones Jeff Suppan Jim Thome Johan Santana Kansas City Kansas City Royals KC KC Royals Manny Ramirez Marty Cordaro Mike Jirschele Mike Moustakas Minnesota Twins MLB Omaha Royals Omaha Storm Chasers Pacific Coast League Royals Torii Hunter Travis Hafner

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