CHATHAM, MA, July 3, 2017 – John Schiffner, the winningest manager in Cape Cod Baseball League history, will step down at the conclusion of the 2017 season, his 25th at the helm of the Chatham Anglers.
The longest-tenured manager in league history, Schiffner has led Chatham – originally known as the A’s and since 2009 as the Anglers – to two league championships, six division titles, and 15 playoff appearances. More significantly for him, he has managed close to 1,000 players, including 120-plus future major leaguers and 26 first-round draft choices.
“I’ve always said it’s all about the players,” said Schiffner, 61. “Winning is great and important, but getting to work with these college athletes at such an important point in their lives provides the most rewards. Baseball and teaching have been two of my passions and these came together during my time with the Anglers.”
“John’s leadership for these past two-and-a-half decades reinforced and expanded Chatham’s reputation as the best place to play summer baseball for any college athlete,” said Steve West, president of the Chatham Athletic Association, the Anglers governing organization. “We are extremely proud of the standards he established in running the team and are appreciative of everything he has done for Chatham. Saying he will be missed is an understatement.”
Schiffner, then a Providence College third baseman, began his Cape Cod baseball career playing from 1974-76 for the Harwich Mariners, before moving into an assistant coaching position with them in 1977. The following year he began his first of two stints as a Chatham assistant coach, remaining until 1982. He returned to Chatham in 1990 as an assistant under Manager Rich Hill until being named manager July 7, 1993.
“I was surprised when Rich left in mid-season (to become the coach at the University of San Francisco) and was thrilled with the opportunity to become the interim manager,” said Schiffner. “I guess the A’s liked what I did and decided to keep me around.”
A last-place team when he took the reins, Schiffner led the A’s to 16 wins in the last 23 games and a first-place finish.
“It was obviously an easy decision to name John manager on a permanent basis after that record,” said Mike Geylin, Anglers general manager. “We’ll certainly have more of a challenge now, finding someone to fill his shoes. Schiff, with his experience, relationships and knowledge has made my job a lot easier. He will be missed by everyone.
“The Cape league is the premier summer league in the country and Chatham is the best place to coach on the Cape,” said Schiffner. “It has been an amazing ride, and I can’t thank the people of the town of Chatham for all of their support over the 34 years I have worn the A’s uniform.”
Schiffner, who lives with wife Martha in Harwich, was recently named to the Connecticut High School Coaches Association's Hall of Fame for his years as baseball coach at Plainfield (CT) High School, where he also taught history.