Courtesy Kansas City T-Bones Media Relations
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – The Kansas City T-Bones have announced that Joe Calfapietra has been hired as the club’s new manager.
Calfapietra, 46, brings to Kansas City an overall record of 848-740 in 17 seasons as a manager, all at the independent level. Calfapietra spent the past 14 seasons as the manager of the New Jersey Jackals of the Can-Am League. Only four of those 14 teams did not reach the postseason. The Jackals won the league championship in 2004, at the end of Calfapietra’s second season in New Jersey, and then his teams reached the league championship series in five consecutive seasons, 2011-15. In 2016, the Jackals went 62-38, before losing in the first round of the Can-Am playoffs.
The T-Bones and Calfapietra’s Jackals faced each other seven times in interleague play since 2012, with New Jersey winning four of those games.
“Joe is a passionate baseball man and leader, who’s a highly respected recruiter in independent baseball circles,” said T-Bones vice-president and general manager Chris Browne. “He is very familiar with our league through the interleague matchups over the years, having played in the majority of the stadiums in our league and/or against our teams. I look forward to working with him.”
“After managing in New Jersey for 14 years, the biggest thing about taking this job was the opportunity to try to build something special in a new location,” Calfapietra said. “On top of that, when we brought the Jackals to Kansas City in 2012, I realized fans in Kansas City are passionate about baseball, the facilities are beautiful, and the little time I spent there, it seemed like a great city. All of those things made it feel like a good fit for me.”
Calfapietra started his coaching career in 1994 in this organization, when the T-Bones were in Duluth, Minn., and were known as the Dukes. In 2002, Calfapietra was the first-ever manager of the Gary SouthShore RailCats, where he was the league manager of the year, before starting with New Jersey the following season.
“I first met Joe 15 years ago when he was managing the then-expansion RailCats,” said T-Bones president Adam Ehlert. “It’s been a fun walk down memory lane and arriving at the conclusion that the Can-Am League’s winningest manager is still the upstanding guy of his reputation back then. I’m thrilled to have him in the home team dugout at CommunityAmerica Ballpark!”
While with New Jersey, Calfapietra managed former Kansas City T-Bones Nick Giarraputo, Lucas Irvine, Matt Padgett and Bryan Sabatella, plus former Kansas City Royals infielder and American League Rookie of the Year, Angel Berroa.
“I love managing and I get great thrills of winning a baseball game, but there’s a greater thrill for me in building a team,” said Calfapietra. “To put all the pieces together of this puzzle is a big-time passion of mine.”
Calfapietra lives in Collegeville, Pa., with his wife and their two daughters, ages 17 and 11.
Calfapietra is the T-Bones’ sixth manager since the team moved from Duluth prior to the 2003 season. He replaces John Massarelli, who went 139-160 in three seasons with Kansas City, including 42-58 in 2016.
Joe Calfapietra’s Managerial Career
2000 — Allentown 42 43 .494 No Postseason
2001 — Allentown 43 47 .478 Postseason
2002 — Gary 35 55 .389 No Postseason
2003 — New Jersey 52 37 .584 Postseason
2004 — New Jersey 54 39 .581 League Champions
2005 — New Jersey 48 44 .522 No Postseason
2006 — New Jersey 43 48 .473 No Postseason
2007 — New Jersey 49 44 .527 Postseason
2008 — New Jersey 43 51 .457 No Postseason
2009 — New Jersey 55 39 .585 No Postseason
2010 — New Jersey 42 50 .457 Postseason
2011 — New Jersey 57 36 .613 Lost League Finals
2012 — New Jersey 59 41 .590 Lost League Finals
2013 — New Jersey 55 44 .556 Lost League Finals
2014 — New Jersey 55 41 .573 Lost League Finals
2015 — New Jersey 54 43 .557 Lost League Finals
2016 — New Jersey 62 38 .620 Postseason
Overall — 17 seasons 848 740 .534