The Kansas City Royals announced Thursday that the club has extended its Player Development Contract (PDC) with the Omaha Royals through the 2014 season.
Omaha has been Kansas City’s Triple-A affiliate since the Royals joined the American League as an expansion franchise in 1969. Of the nearly 1,000 players that have worn an Omaha uniform since 1969, more than 700 have made the next step and gone on to play in the Major Leagues, many of them for Kansas City.
The list of past Omaha Royals players to star for Kansas City includes the likes of George Brett, Frank White, Paul Splittorff, David Cone, Mike Sweeney, Zack Greinke and Billy Butler. Kansas City’s farm system is now widely regarded as one of the best in professional, boasting prospects who appear to be on the verge of stardom such as Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, Mike Montgomery and many others.
"It’s been exciting to watch the rapid improvement in the quality of players who Dayton Moore, J.J. Picollo and Scott Sharp have ushered through the Kansas City organization,” said Omaha Royals President Alan Stein. “We are excited to be a part of this winning attitude and look forward to being part of championships here in Omaha and in Kansas City for many years to come.”
“Our working relationship with the Royals staff here in Omaha and throughout the Kansas City organization has been tremendous,” said Martie Cordaro, Royals Vice President/General Manager. “We are fortunate to continue our 42-year partnership in a new Minor League Baseball-specific facility in April 2011.”
The Royals will move into a new ballpark in Sarpy County next season.
The final 2010 regular season Royals game at Rosenblatt Stadium, presented by AT&T, is Thursday night, with a 7:05 p.m. first pitch vs. the Round Rock Express. Fans are invited to a free Fan Fest which begins at 5:30 p.m., when the stadium gates will open. The first 2,000 fans will receive a miniature Omaha Municipal Stadium seat, circa 1948. The historic night will feature many past Royals, Dodgers and Cardinals players signing autographs from 5:30-6:30 p.m. It is also Thirsty Thursday, when fans will enjoy $1 beers and Cokes from 5:30-8:00 p.m.
Following the game, Steve Rosenblatt will hit a ceremonial last pitch. Also, home plate will be dug up. It will be sent to the National Baseball Museum Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Then, fans will enjoy one final fireworks show at the ‘Blatt. The game is also presented by Clear Channel.