Joe Calfapietra Named American Association Manager of the Year
In American Association Daily, the Minor League Sports Report and This Week in the Association name Kansas City T-Bones Manager Joe Calfapietra as American Association Manager of the Year. It is the second year in a row that the publications have chosen the T-Bones skipper.
Joe Calfapietra Named Manager of the Year
In his third season with the Kansas City T-Bones, Joe Calfapietra has already built quite a reputation in the league. A year after being named Manager of the Year when he led his team to the league title despite losing 13 players to affiliate ball or foreign leagues, the T-Bones skipper pulled out another improbable season, leading his team to the South Division title despite the fact that the team was in third place heading into the final weekend of the year.
The T-Bones had to battle the weather early on, as rain delays led to eight double-headers having to be played. Kansas City represented themselves well in those twin bills, going 11-5, but the continual delays also dragged on the team, keeping them from being able to build any momentum.
The T-Bones entered August at 34-33, but then caught fire. Kansas City would finish the season 24-9, including winning three of four against the Sioux City Explorers in the final weekend to win the South Division title.
In August, it looked like the season might derail when news came out that the team could be evicted from their home, but Calfapietra kept his team winning. Keeping the team focused on the field, they would go 11-5 following the announcement to win the title.
Besides leading his team to the division title, Calfapietra also won the 1000th game of his managerial career.
Jim Bennett, George Tsamis Runners-Up
Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks skipper Jim Bennett, who was selected by the American Association as Manager of the Year, finished second in the polling. St. Paul Saints Manager George Tsamis was third.
Bennett led the RedHawks to their first playoff berth in five years. Bennett took over the team a couple of months before the season began when Michael Schlact was hired by the Milwaukee Brewers organization. The team went 63-37.
George Tsamis finished third. He led the St. Paul Saints to the best record in the American Association, going 64-36. The Saints went 17-3 in their final 20 games to win the North Division title for the third time in the last five seasons.
By Robert Pannier