Kansas City Blizzard

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Kansas City Blizzard
Founded in 2012
Kansas City, Missouri Usa.png

Affiliations
League Bull League
Subleague Metropolitan League
Division East

West (2012–2024)

Team Info
Name Kansas City Blizzard

Previous names Arizona Cowboys (2012–2024)

Previous locations Phoenix, AZ (2012–2024)

Colors                    

Owner Mike Maron

General manager Jake Rudolph
Ballpark
Ballpark Blizzard Stadium
Former Cowboy Stadium (2012-2024)
Titles
Division titles (2) 2020, 2025
Playoff appearances (3) 2019—2020, 2025


The Kansas City Blizzard are an American professional baseball team based in Kansas City, Missouri. The team competes in the Bull League playing in the Metropolitan League (ML) East division. They play their home games at Blizzard Stadium.

The team formed in 2012 as the Arizona Cowboys, an expansion club, joining what was then the American Eagle League's West division. In 2019, they became the first of the 2012 expansion clubs to reach a League Championship Series, when they were defeated by the St. Petersburg Admirals, the eventual Bull Cup champions.

At the end of 2024, the club relocated to Kansas City and took their current name, realigning into their current division.

The team all-time win-loss record at the end of 2019 was 327-445 (.424).[1]

History

Original logo of the Arizona Cowboys expansion team from 2012 to 2024

The Arizona Cowboys were formed in 2012, when the Bull League expanded from 16 to 20 teams. In their first season, despite having a Rookie of the Year Award winner in right field, Tsuruo Yoshioka, the team failed to impress and slid to a 4th place finish.

Their next six seasons would be spent in the West division basement, with successive 5th place finishes and never mustering better than a .440 win percentage.

In 2019, that all changed almost overnight when, with the help of speedster left fielder Alexis Rosa, acquired in a trade with the Toronto Nomads two years before, and international free agent signing Tak-keung Yang, the Cowboys powered themselves to a late season playoff run that saw them finish 2nd in the West division, surprising the Nevada Speeders and Seattle Salts. Both the Speeders and Salts had been strong all year, but the Cowboys took advantage of September slumps for those powerhouses, and squeaked ahead of Nevada and finished just one game behind the pennant winning Salts, with a franchise-best 92-70 (.568) record.

In their first-ever playoff contest, they went the distance with the Salts, shutting them down 3-2 in the best-of-five Elimination Round, before advancing to meet the St. Petersburg Admirals in the MLCS. The Cowboys managed not to get swept, taking one game but ultimately losing the series 4-1, as the Admirals went on to capture their first Bull Cup championship.

Move to Kansas City

The club moved to Kansas City and became the Blizzard shortly after the arrival of GM Jake Randolph, who was influential in pushing for the move with team ownership. The fans had largely abandoned the club following their 2019-2020 playoff appearances, and management felt a fresh start was needed.

General Managers

Kansas City Blizzard General Managers
Years Name Record Notes
2014–2017 Matt Johnson 130-216, .375 Spent 2017 as Assistant GM
2017 Kyle Bullen 0-0, .000 Released before season started
2018 Kevin Norris 3-7, .300 Norris was briefly GM during spring and the first week of 2018 before being replaced by assistant GM Chris Meadows
2019–2020 Chris Meadows 183–141, .565 Meadows started 2018 off as the assistant GM, but took over when Norris stepped down in May. He brought the Cowboys to their first-ever playoff in 2019. He went on to lead the Cowboys in taking down the West division pennant-winning first place Seattle Salts. The team advanced to the MLCS and fell to the St. Petersburg Admirals who went on to win the Bull Cup. Meadows repeated a playoff run the following season, though this time Nevada ensured a first round exit. After being succeeded by Troy Olsen, Meadows returned to the assistant role.
2021–2024 Troy Olsen 160–181, .469 Olsen, an American who was formerly GM of the Denver Danger, retired in July 2024 after three and a half seasons of managing the Cowboys. Under his tutelage, the team never reclaimed the highs seen of the 2019 and 2020 seasons, when they made back-to-back playoff appearances. After his quiet mid-season resignation, Assistant GM Chris Meadows took the reigns again.
2024– Jake Rudolph Rookie GM Rudolph took over from Chris Meadows in the last 2 weeks of the 2024 season.

Notable players

Awards and other achievements

Player awards

Rookie of the Year Award

Team Records

For career hitting percentage records, 1,758 plate appearances are required. For career pitching percentage records, 500 innings pitched are required.[2][3]

Statistic Single season record Career record
Player Record Year Player Record
Batting average Alexis Rosa .331 2021 Tak-keung Yang .301
On base percentage Tak-keung Yang .443 2020 Tak-keung Yang .426
Slugging percentage Tak-keung Yang .679 2020 Tak-keung Yang .669
At bats Alexis Rosa 633 2020 Jorge Velazquez 3,947
Runs Tak-keung Yang 146 2020 Jorge Velazquez 716
Hits Zong-ming Gang 188 2024 Jorge Velazquez 1,067
Doubles Zong-ming Gang 56 2024 Jorge Velazquez 191
Triples Tex Rudman 19 2022 Alexis Rosa 44
Home runs Tak-keung Yang 60 2019 Joe Kueppers 238
Runs batted in Tak-keung Yang 146 2019 Joe Kueppers 678
Stolen bases Alexis Rosa 68 2019 Alexis Rosa 246
Earned runs average Isaiah Strachan 4.37 2024 Robby McWeeney 4.98
Wins Hiroiaki Nakamura 17 2020 Robby McWeeney
Isaiah Strachan
60
Losses Vicente Mendoza 16 2023 George Grease 64
Saves David Johnson 40 2019 David Johnson
Malcolm Danton
61
Games pitched David Johnson 73 2019 Kyle Hardy 184
Games started Isaiah Strachan 36 2023 Robby McWeeney 153
Complete games Ivan Morillo 9 2019 Isaiah Strachan 17
Shutouts 10+ tied 1 Junior Strong
Alex Orellana
2
Innings pitched Hiroiaki Nakamura 239.0 2020 Isaiah Strachan 998.1
Strikeouts Robby McWeeney 215 2020 Robby McWeeney 931

Championships

Metropolitan League West division titles
Preceded by:
Seattle Salts
2020 Succeeded by:
Nevada Speeders
Metropolitan League East division titles
Preceded by:
Miami Storm
2025 Succeeded by:
Current title holder

Minor League Affiliations

Kansas City Blizzard Minor League Affiliates
Level Team League Location
AAA San Antonio Stallions Cow League San Antonio, Texas
AA Saginaw Horsemen Heifer League Saginaw, Michigan
A Yuma Hedghogs Calf League Yuma, Arizona
Short Season A El Paso Cyclones Texas-Rio Grande League El Paso, Texas
Rookie Hollywood Cowboys Florida Rookie League Hollywood, Florida

References

  1. Arizona Cowboys, History Team Index. BNN. http://bullleague.org/public_html/bull-league/reports/html/history/team_58_index.html. 2020/01/01. Accessed: 7 May 2019.
  2. Arizona Cowboys: Batting Leaders. Bull News Network. http://bullleague.org/public_html/bull-league/reports/html/history/team_58_batting_leaders.html. Accessed: 28 December 2017.
  3. Arizona Cowboys: Pitching Leaders. Bull News Network. http://bullleague.org/public_html/bull-league/reports/html/history/team_58_pitching_leaders.html. Accessed: 28 December 2017.