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Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Brian Poldberg spent career with Royals, managed in hometown

Brian Poldberg 1990 Baseball City Royals card

Brian Poldberg credited his wife with getting him back into the game, his hometown Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil wrote in March 1990.

A former Royals farmhand, Poldberg signed on with the organization as a minor league manager. He also looked to the future, The Daily Nonpareil wrote.

"I was very lucky to get in with the Royals. They try to run it like a family atmosphere," Poldberg told The Daily Nonpareil as he prepared to manage at high-A Baseball City. "It would be great, down the road, to get to Omaha. Living at home 10, 11 months out of the year, that would be ideal."

Poldberg would go on to manage in the Royals system for three decades. He also would spend his final eight seasons managing Omaha and see the team retire his number.

Poldberg's career in baseball began in 1980, signed by the Yankees out of Emporia State University in Kansas.

Poldberg started with the Yankees at single-A Greensboro. He then made AA Nashville for 1981 and 1982. For 1983, he arrived with the Royals at AAA Omaha. He played three seasons there, marking the extent of his playing career.

He started his post-playing career in 1987 at single-A Appleton as hitting coach. He then turned manager there for 1988. He spent 1991 as hitting coach at Omaha before becoming manager at AA Memphis in 1992.

In 1996, Poldberg managed at single-A Lansing. Early that April, his team took a tough loss on an error. Poldberg tried to put it into perspective to The Lansing State Journal afterward.

"One of the things players have to learn at this level is to not let every mistake eat them up," Poldberg told The State Journal. "It's part of the process of maturing into a major leaguer."

Poldberg turned Royals minor league catching coordinator for 1997. For 2004, he moved to Kansas City as bullpen coach. He stayed through 2007.

He became manager at AA Northwest Arkansas for 2008, then arrived at Omaha in 2014. He retired after 2021 with more than 1,300 career wins, 400 at Omaha. The team then retired his number 27 in 2022.

"It's a great honor to have your number retired," Poldberg told "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."

Brian Poldberg 1990 Baseball City Royals card

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,304
Made the Majors:1,394-32.4%-X
Never Made Majors:2,910-67.6%
5+ Seasons in the Majors:567
10+ Seasons in the Minors:349

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