Buddy Biancalana – An all-time Omaha baseball favorite

Buddy Biancalana during his rookie season with the Omaha Royals in 1982.
Buddy Biancalana during his rookie season with the Omaha Royals in 1982.

Voted to the Omaha Storm Chasers All-Franchise team as the shortstop by fans, Buddy Biancalana returns that love to the fans. Biancalana spent parts of five seasons with the then-Omaha Royals, while also seeing action with the parent Kansas City Royals 1982-87.

“I enjoyed and really appreciated the great fans, who also were very knowledgeable and appreciated good baseball,” Biancalana said. “Also, getting to know some of them made me feel very welcomed and comfortable. I loved so many of my teammates. So many great guys with whom I learned from and grew.”

The Walking Tourists are teaming with the Omaha Storm Chasers to help celebrate the team’s 50th anniversary in 2018. We will be providing a variety of stories throughout the season. As always, all views and opinions are ours.

Biancalana was 22 when promoted to Triple-A Omaha after four seasons in Class A and AA baseball. The shortstop was a career .241 hitter in the minor leagues, with 15 home runs. He spent all but one season in the Kansas City organization. He played part of the 1987 season with the Houston Astros. Biancalana appeared in 311 major league games over a six-season span.

World Series Champion

Kansas City’s top draft pick in 1978 out of high school, Biancalana used his glove to work his way up through the minors. He was a solid defensive player, who rarely let a ball get past him. He played perfect defense at shortstop as the Kansas City Royals won the 1985 World Series championship in seven games over the St. Louis Cardinals. Surprisingly, his bat played a role in the win over the Cardinals. A career .204 hitter in the majors, Biancalana went 5 for 18 from the plate, hitting .278 and driving in two runs.

“I had a zone experience in the Series,” Biancalana said. “For whatever reason, I experienced the game as slowing down, not thinking and with fluid, effortless motion. It was a remarkable experience, one that led to now teaching athletes how to get in the zone.”

His batting struggles landed him a spot as a guest on “Late Night with David Letterman.” The comic and Biancalana had a good time joking about his lack of hitting skills. The California native was cool with the appearance.

“The Letterman experience was a fun experience that provided me with a lot of publicity and people still mention it,” he said.

Post-playing career

After finishing his professional baseball career with a final season with Omaha in 1988, Biancalana went on to coaching and managing in other organizations, including with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Today, the 58-year-old lives in Arizona and works with athletes on how to get into the zone, so they can be successful in their careers. As a player, Biancalana found “the zone” during the 1985 World Series. He has since studied and learned more about it.

“Everything led to what I’m doing now in teaching athletes how to get in the zone,” he said. “I have done and conducted independent studies and research and have now proven that Zone Motion greatly enhances performance, expedites player development and minimizes soft tissue injuries.”

Love for the Royals, Chasers

As he reflects on his playing career, Biancalana appreciates the opportunities provided to him, both in Omaha and with the KC Royals.

“Playing on our ’85 team was definitely most enjoyable along with my 1988 season back in Omaha,” he said. “Winning at the Major League level and being a part of the excitement that it brought the city of KC was awesome. It brought people a lot of joy.

“Going back to Omaha in 1988, I had the opportunity to play with many great guys, who, like myself, were working to get back to the Major Leagues. We all supported each other with much compassion during a time of upcoming life transformation.”

Biancalana enjoyed a successful baseball career, playing in 311 games and winning a World Series title with the Kansas City Royals in 1985.
Biancalana enjoyed a successful baseball career, playing in 311 games and winning a World Series title with the Kansas City Royals in 1985.

It’s great to see that Omaha’s love for Buddy Biancalana was reciprocated by the player. It can be easy for a player to see Omaha as only a stepping stone to the ultimate goal of playing Major League Baseball. But, the affection fans and players develop for each other at the minor league level can be real and lasting.

For more information on Biancalana and his Zone Motion, please visit his website at https://zonemotion.com.