KANSAS CITY, KS - Kansas City Monarchs manager Joe Calfapietra (44) and Kansas City Monarchs infielder Cameron Cannon (6) during the Kansas City Monarchs media day on Wednesday, May 8, 2024 at Legends Field (Parker Johnson/IONYOU Media)

Kansas City Monarchs Media Day

KANSAS CITY, KS – The defending Miles Wolff Cup Champions, the Kansas City Monarchs, are preparing for their attempt at history and it all began this last week with Monarch’s Media Day. In a city that just got a taste of what winning titles back-to-back feels like with the Kansas City Chiefs, the Monarchs are hungry to follow after their professional sports neighbor. Only two teams in the American Association have ever won back-to-back titles: Fort Worth (2006-2007) and Winnipeg (2016-2017). Kansas City is trying to add their name to the list this year with a fourth American Association Championship. The Monarchs have won two out of the last three trophies with a win in 2021 in the rebranded team’s inaugural season. Before that, the KC T-Bones, won the 2018 title, giving the franchise three championships overall, enough to tie for most in the American Association with the Winnipeg Goldeyes. 

However, the roster turnover is infamous in the American Association because of the business model. The idea of the AA is to provide teams for players who have been cut or injured and don’t have the ability to play MLB baseball or ‘affiliated ball’ in a team’s minor league system. With the recent cut down on Minor League Teams, the competition and talent level of the AA has grown significantly. This also means that the whole goal of each player is to ‘move up the ladder’ and sign a contract back into affiliated baseball or another prestigious baseball league. The challenge then comes in how to balance the growth of the individual player and advancing them to the next level, while also maintaining a culture of winning. Joe Calfapietra, the team’s Head Coach/Manager and General Manager, says “One of my jobs is to blend that – winning on the baseball field and making sure that they have every opportunity to move on ”. Calfapietra believes he has found that balance, and it all comes from the unselfish model that the Monarch’s organization has embraced. “Every day they will start realizing what we are about, there is that strong balance of these guys are here to move on and better themselves personally and we understand that and that’s one thing that we have, that feeling, we understand, we don’t stop that feeling, it’s major, that’s why we get the level of player that we get”. 

Parker Johnson/IONYOU Media

Not a single player on the roster of the 2021 Kansas City (championship-winning) Monarchs is returning to the club in 2024, and that’s exactly how they want it. The only returners are on the coaching staff, led by Manager Joe Calfapietra. In a league where the rosters are fluid because of players’ individual goals, this is an extremely difficult job. The lack of time that a player spends in a certain market could cause a manager to become complacent in developing a relationship with his players. ‘They won’t even be here for two years, why would I invest in a relationship like that?’, but that is not how Joe thinks. In fact, he would describe his relationship with his players as a loving one. Calfapietra describes it, as “like a father watching their kids play”. The players see this relationship investment and it motivates them as well. Ashton Goudeau, who joined the team at the end of the last season, says, “He loves his players and I think we realize that and that’s why we want to play our hardest”.

The winning culture that Manager Joe Calfapietra and his staff have established makes Kansas City the desired spot for many looking to take a step toward Major League Baseball. Calfapietra says, “There are a few players who have been through it – they know who we are and the culture and we feel comfortable with that. Our motto is that we are the best at what we do and we feel we get very good players and they buy into what we do”.

The Kansas City Monarchs are a team to keep your eye on this year. In a city full of champions, the Monarchs are looking to pull their weight once again and bring back another Wolff Cup Championship to this great sports city, but it will look different. “It’s a new slate, new ball club, and new dreams – that being to repeat” (Calfapietra). 

The Monarchs begin their season at Sioux City, on May 10th, and host their home opener on Opening Night vs. Winnipeg on May 16th at Legends Field @6:35 local time. 

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