Omaha manager Brian Poldberg announced he will retire after the season ends on October 3. The 64-year old Poldberg had managed the Storm Chasers since 2014, winning a Triple-A championship that season, and originally began his coaching career with the Royals in 1987.
A native of Omaha, Poldberg has won 475 games in his seven seasons with the Storm Chasers, and has won 1,350 games in 21 seasons as a minor league manager. He told the Omaha World-Herald it was time.
“The time’s here,” said Poldberg, who earned his 475th win with the Chasers on Wednesday. “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.”
Poldberg had stints as a player at both Fort Hays State and Emporia State and signed with the Yankees as a catcher out of school. He spent time as a minor league in the Royals’ farm system before turning to coaching as an assistant for the Appleton Foxes in 1987. He served as a minor league manager for the Royals from 1988 to 1996, except in 1993 when he was a hitting coach for Omaha. From 1997 to 2003 he was a minor league catching instructor for the Royals.
Poldberg joined the Major League coaching staff in 2004-05 when he was the bullpen coach. He moved to first base coach under manager Buddy Bell in 2006, then third base coach in 2007 under manager Trey Hillman. From 2008 to 2013 he managed the Double-A Northwest Arkansas Naturals, winning a league title in 2010. He managed Omaha for seven seasons, using the cancelled 2020 season to coach prospects at the alternate site. This year, the Storm Chasers lead all of Triple-A with 208 home runs, and have a 67-54 record
The open managerial position at Omaha could create an opportunity for another coach in the organization. Tony Pena, Jr. joined the Royals coaching staff this year as a bench coach, after two years of managing their Arizona rookie team. Northwest Arkansas manager Scott Thorman could also be a candidate to move up after just one season with the Naturals.