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Storm Warning: Notes from the Omaha Stormchasers

Fluorescent blue shoes, a swaying foul pole and Brett Tomko’s birthday celebration

Omaha catcher Francisco Pena wore these fluorescent blue shoes opening night, but decided they didn't have any hits in them
Omaha catcher Francisco Pena wore these fluorescent blue shoes opening night, but decided they didn't have any hits in them
Minda Haas

Here's the second installment of Storm Warning - a column to keep you up to date with news and tidbits about the Omaha Storm Chasers.

Francisco Pena wore fluorescent blue shoes on opening night, but after going 0-for-3, decided he needed to make a change and went with a darker shade of blue for his second game. He went 1-for-3 in that game.

If you were at Werner Park in Omaha on Sunday afternoon, you saw something you don't see every day - a swaying left field foul pole (see the video below). Could have made for an interesting moment if a player had launched a ball deep down the left field line. Can you imagine the argument? "It would have been fair, if the foul pole hadn't moved!" The team placed a call to someone to check out the steel reinforcements.

Irving Falu faced his former team in the opening series of the season at Werner Park, leading off for the Nashville Sounds. He went 1-for-3 in his first game. Omaha president and general manager Martie Cordaro gave him his Triple-A National Championship ring before the game.

Paulo Orlando is picking up where he left off last season. Going into action on Wednesday, he was 8-for-16 to start the season, and he leads the time in hitting.

Brett Tomko celebrated his 41st birthday on Monday by picking up a win against the Memphis Redbirds. Tomko was the first pitcher to earn a victory over the age of 40 in the Pacific Coast League since Matt Herges did so for Omaha in 2010. Tomko will need to stick around for eight more seasons though if he hopes to match Herman Pillette's (whose nickname was "Old Folks") feat of picking up a win for the Sacramento Solons in 1945 at the age of 49.

The Storm Chasers are Tomko's eighth career PCL team, making him only the second player in PCL history to appear for that many teams (the other being Eddie Mulligan in 1919-1938). I don't know if Mulligan was a weekend golfer or not, but with a name like that, it seems like he should have been.

Sixteen players who played on the 2013 Triple-A National Championship team are currently on MLB/MiLB rosters other than the Royals or Storm Chasers. Here's the list: Quintin Berry on Norfolk (AAA-BAL), Blaine Boyer on El Paso (AAA-SD), Mitch Canham on Harrisburg (AA-WAS), Maikel Cleto on Chicago White Sox, Santiago Garrido on Montgomery (AA-TB), Chris Getz on Buffalo (AAA-TOR), Zach Jackson on Harrisburg (AA-WAS), David Lough on Baltimore, Adam Moore on El Paso (AAA-SD), Xavier Nady on San Diego, Rey Navarro on Pensacola (AA-CIN), Felipe Paulino on Chicago White Sox, Max Ramirez on Louisville (AAA-CIN), Sam Runion on Montgomery (AA-TB), Anthony Seratelli on Las Vegas (AAA-NYM), Atahualpa Severino on Gwinnett (AAA-ATL) and Will Smith on Milwaukee.

Remember former on-field emcee Ben Hemmen? I think I'm late to the party on this one, but I just learned that the tuxedo shirt he often wore was sponsored by Tip Top Tux. Only in the minor leagues. Hemmen is now the assistant general manager of the Bowling Green Hot Rods.