The T-Bones on Wednesday hired a manager who has enjoyed success in independent league baseball.
Joe Calfapietra has compiled a 848-740 record in 17 seasons of managing independent league teams. He spent the previous 14 seasons managing the New Jersey Jackals of the Can-Am League, and those teams made the playoffs 10 times, including the last seven years in a row.
New Jersey won the 2004 league title and advanced to the league championship series each year from 2011 to 2015. Last season, the Jackals lost in the first round of the playoffs.
“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 in a news release. “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.”
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While managing New Jersey, Calfapietra’s teams faced the T-Bones seven times since 2012. He also was a manager for former Royals shortstop Angel Berroa, who was with the Jackals in 2012.
“Joe is a passionate baseball man and leader, who’s a highly respected recruiter in independent baseball circles,” T-Bones vice-president and general manager Chris Browne said in a news release. “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.”
Calfapietra was the first manager of the Gary SouthShore RailCats when the started play in 2002. He was the league manager of the year, then left for New Jersey the following season.
“I first met Joe 15 years ago when he was managing the then-expansion RailCats,” T-Bones president Adam Ehlert said in a release. “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.”
Calfapietra replaces John Massarelli, who went 139-160 in three seasons with Kansas City, including 42-58 in 2016.