Joe Calfapietra, the 2018 American Association Manager of the Year, recently signed a multi-year contract with the T-Bones to stay through the 2020 season.
Calfapietra took the T-Bones to the American Association championship this past year, when they won 62 games, and then were 6-3 in postseason competition.
The T-Bones tied a franchise record nine-game winning streak from June 18 to 28 and reached a club record 26 games above .500 on Sept. 1, 2018.
Calfapietra, a Pennsylvania native, has guided the franchise to two of the four seasons above .500 since the team moved to Kansas City, Kansas, in 2002 from Duluth, Minnesota.
“I am very appreciative to John and Adam Ehlert along with Chris Browne to have the confidence in me to run their baseball operations for the next two years. My family and I love the T-Bones organization, fans and surrounding area. We consider this our second home,” Calfapietra said.
In Calfapietra’s first season at the helm of KC in 2017, the club finished in a three-way tie for the Wild Card playoff spot but would not advance to the playoffs because of a tie breaker. Calfapietra guided Kansas City to the second-best overall record in the club’s history (57-43), turning over the 2017 roster with only one hold over from the 2016 and helping the club reach a then franchise high of 84 days above .500 out of a 109-day season.
Despite a 1-5 start to begin the season, his 2017 club reached .500 at 7-7 at Sioux Falls on June 2 and stayed at or above for 93 days, 83 in a row. With the win on Aug. 26, 2017, at Gary, Calfapietra won his 900th career game. He hit the 50-win mark for the seventh straight season on Aug. 23 at home against Cleburne.
“We are proud that Joe Calfapietra returns as our league-champion manager,” Adam Ehlert, president of the T-Bones, said. “In two short years, he built a powerhouse team. Joe is a gentleman who managed his team well through the final winning out this past September, and he out worked everyone else in order to get us to that championship series. Additionally, it’s a testament to T-Bones fans that Joe enjoys his time in KC so much.”
Calfapietra was named the T-Bones sixth manager in the club’s history on Nov. 30, 2016, after a successful 14-year run with the New Jersey Jackals in the Can Am League. In 18 seasons in the independent league dugout, he has compiled a 967-820 record. Calfapietra currently boasts 964 wins in his career going into the 2019 season. With 36 more wins, he is set to join St. Paul Manager George Tsamis, former Fargo boss Doug Simunic, current Gary Manager Greg Tagert and second-year Chicago Dogs Manager Butch Hobson in the 1,000-win club in indy ball.
Calfapietra has instilled a philosophy of building his teams through helping his players seek positions back in affiliated baseball. In 2018, Calfapietra led the club to the league title despite a regular season where Kansas City had 8 players’ contracts sold to affiliated clubs and another pair of players signed with AAA Mexico, all en route to winning the American Association Championship.
During 2018, the T-Bones promoted a total of 14 players, adding to the four players sold to affiliated ball in 2017. Calfapietra’s efforts have been historic in KCK as he is the first manager in franchise history to guide the club to records above .500 for two seasons, and he became the first to guide the club at or above .500 in back-to-back years.
“We’re thrilled to have Joe as our manager,” Chris Brown, T-Bones vice president and general manager, said. “He’s an excellent leader, and we share his passion and respect for the game. I am looking forward to seeing #44 in the T-Bones dugout for years to come. I can’t wait for Joe to hoist the Miles Wolff Trophy and celebrate the championship again on Opening Day and all season long with our fans.”
Tickets for 2019, both full and half-season ticket packages, as well as mini plans, are on sale at http://www.tbonesbaseball.com/tickets/season-tickets/ or by calling 913-328-5618 or visiting the T-Bones Stadium offices. Group ticket sales are also on sale.