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T-Bones hire new manager, Calfapietra

Joe Calfapietra has become the sixth manager in T-Bones history. (Photo courtesy of the New Jersey Jackals.)
11/30/2016 12:02 PM -

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – The Kansas City T-Bones have announced that Joe Calfapietra has been hired as the club’s new manager.

Calfapietra (pronounced Cal-fa-pee-ay-tra), 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