New Jersey Jackals

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New Jersey Jackals
NJ Jackals.PNG NJ Jackals cap.PNG
Team logo Cap insignia
Information
League Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball
Location Little Falls, New Jersey
Ballpark Yogi Berra Stadium
Year founded 1998
League championships
4
2004
2002
2001
1998
Division championships
5
2016
2004
2003
2002
1999
Former name(s) New Jersey Jackals (1998–present)
Former league(s)
Colors Red, black, white
              
Mascot Jack the Jackal
16
1998-1999
2001-2004
2007
2009-2017
Playoff berths
16
1998
1999
2001
2002
2003
2004
2007
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
Retired numbers 8, 28, 4, 14
Ownership Al Dorso[1]
Manager Brooks Carey
General Manager Joe Redmon[1]
Media Newark Star-Ledger, Bergen Record
Website www.jackals.com

The New Jersey Jackals are a professional minor league baseball team based in Little Falls in Passaic County, New Jersey, United States. The Jackals are a member of the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball, which is an independent minor league unaffiliated with Major League Baseball. From their inception, the Jackals have played their home games at Yogi Berra Stadium, on the campus of Montclair State University. Their mascot is Jack the Jackal.

The Jackals are owned by Al Dorso, a businessman who also owns the Sussex County Miners and operates the yearly Meadowlands State Fair. Dorso purchased the team from its founder, Floyd Hall, in May 2017.

History

1990s

The club was formed in 1998, and they posted the best record in the Northeast League in their inaugural season under manager Kash Beauchamp. The Jackals won the first half with a 30–12 record, clinching the team a playoff spot. After finishing 53–31, New Jersey went on to sweep the two playoff series and win the league championship, capturing the final game at Heritage Park in Colonie, New York, over the Albany-Colonie Diamond Dogs.

The Jackals joined the Northern League for the 1999 season along with the rest of the Northeast League teams after the two leagues approved a merger. New Jersey finished 45–40 and advanced to the playoffs, where they swept the Allentown Ambassadors in the first round. This set up a rematch with Albany-Colonie for a chance to advance to the Northern League Championship Series, but the Diamond Dogs ended the Jackals' season with a 3–1 series defeat.

2000s

The Jackals were chosen to host the 2000 Northern League All-Star Game at Yogi Berra Stadium. However, it was one of few highlights in an otherwise down year. New Jersey failed to finish with a winning record for the first time in team history and finished up the season at 31–52. Manager Kash Beauchamp resigned at the end of the season and the team chose Waterbury Spirit manager George Tsamis to replace him.

In Tsamis' first season the Jackals again struggled. The team finished five games under .500 in the first half of the season, but was able to even their record by finishing five games above .500 in the second half. Their 45–45 record barely qualified the Jackals for the 2001 Northern League playoffs, but the team managed to sweep Albany-Colonie in the first round. They then took on the Elmira Pioneers in the Northern League East Championship Series, winning in five games. The Jackals completed their run by defeating the North Division champion, the Winnipeg Goldeyes, 3 to 1 to claim their first Northern League Championship.

The 2002 Jackals season was historic on two fronts. The first historic moment came when Jeremy Callier threw a no-hitter on August 28 against the Berkshire Black Bears, requiring a home run by Ryan Kane in the bottom of the ninth inning to make it official. The second piece of team history saw the Jackals set a team record for victories, finishing with 62 to lead the league. In the playoffs, however, the Jackals did not have any relative ease in winning games as they were taken to five games by Elmira again in the first round and required a two-out bases clearing double by first baseman Dave Callahan to win over the Adirondack Lumberjacks in the fifth game of their Northern League East Championship Series tilt. Once again, though, the Jackals finished with a championship by defeating Winnipeg in four games.

2003 saw two major changes for the Jackals. After Tsamis resigned following the year to take the managerial position with the St. Paul Saints, New Jersey hired Gary SouthShore RailCats manager Joe Calfapietra to take his place. The second saw the end of the merger with the Northern League, as the Northeast League once again became its own entity. The Jackals returned to the playoffs for a third consecutive year by winning both halves of the season in their division, but were dispatched in the first round by the eventual league champion Brockton Rox. Despite this, the Jackals finished with a 52–37 record.

In 2004, New Jersey improved their record to what was then the team's second-best showing in its history, winning 54 games and losing 29. However, the first half of the season required saw the Jackals end in a tie with the New Haven County Cutters, requiring a one-game playoff which New Jersey won for their fifth consecutive half-season victory. The Jackals pulled away in the second half with a 28–18 record, winning both halves for a third straight year. After dispatching of the Bangor Lumberjacks in the first round of the playoffs, the Jackals found themselves in trouble against the North Shore Spirit in the league championship series. Trailing two games to none and down late in the third game, the Jackals rallied for an extra inning victory. They duplicated the feat the next day in Game 4 to tie the series, and then won the fifth and deciding game to take the Northeast League Championship. To date, this is the last time the Jackals have won a league championship.

In 2005 the Jackals joined the Can-Am League and failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2000 despite posting a winning record of 48–44. 2006 saw another history-making performance as Aaron Myers threw the second no-hitter in team history, but New Jersey again missed the playoffs and—with a 43–48 record—finished with only their second losing record in team history.

The Jackals won the Can-Am League First Half Championship in 2007 with a 31–15 record, guaranteeing them a spot in the playoffs. Their 31 wins in the first half still mark a franchise best in the first half, and second most in a half (32 in 2002). The Jackals' second half was not as strong, as they finished in last place with an 18–29 record. New Jersey took the Nashua Pride to a fifth game at Yogi Berra Stadium in their best-of-five series before losing and getting knocked out. The Jackals missed the playoffs in 2008, finishing 43–51.

New Jersey was able to ride a CanAm League record 14 game win streak to a First Half Championship in 2009 with a 28–19 record, once again guaranteeing the team a playoff spot. The Jackals won 27 games in the second half for a total of 55, the second most in team history. Despite that, New Jersey was quickly eliminated from the playoffs by the Worcester Tornadoes.

For the second time in their history, the Jackals lost 50 games in 2010. However, their combined record of 42–50 was enough for the team to qualify as one of four teams in what was now a seven-team Can-Am League. For the second consecutive year, though, the Jackals were swept in the first round of the playoffs; this time, the defending league champion Quebec Capitales defeated the Jackals.

2010s

In 2010, the Jackals slipped in the first half, finishing fourth with a 19–27 record. The team battled back to a 23–23 record in the second half, beating out the Worcester Tornadoes by 0.5 game for the fourth and final playoff spot. The Jackals were swept by Quebec three games to none in the opening round.

In 2011, the Jackals finished the regular season 57–36, the second most season wins in franchise history behind the 62 wins the 2002 team put up. Despite an impressive record, the Jackals were unable to win either half of the regular season (Quebec won both halves), and finished second of the eight teams. New Jersey swept the Pittsfield Colonials in the first round of the playoffs three games to none, giving the Jackals their first trip to the championship since 2004. Quebec and New Jersey met in the championship, with the Capitales winning the series three games to one, capturing their third consecutive CanAm League title. Jackals pitcher Isaac Pavlik made a close run for the triple crown, finishing the regular season atop the league in wins and strikeouts, but third in ERA.

The Jackals and Les Capitales met in the league championship series in 2012 and 2013 as well. Quebec defeated the Jackals in both of those series.

For the 2014 season the Jackals became part of the American Association along with the Capitales, the Rockland Boulders, and the Trois-Rivières Aigles. This move was made after the Newark Bears ceased operations following the season, but allowed the Can-Am League to maintain its own separate identity. The Jackals once again made the playoffs, finishing one game behind the Boulders with a 55–41 record. New Jersey lost its fourth consecutive league championship series, falling in six games to Rockland after winning the first two at home.

The Jackals finished third in the league with a 54–43 in 2015, earning a playoff spot for the 7th consecutive season. New Jersey defeated Quebec 3 games to 2 in the first round, earning a fifth straight trip to the League Championship Series. The Jackals fell to Trois-Rivières 3 games to 2, losing their fifth straight CanAm League championship series. Despite winning 4 of the franchise's first five trips to a league championship, the Jackals are winless in their last five.

In the 2016 season, the Jackals finished in first place with a 62–38 record, which earned them their fifth division championship in franchise history and tied the team record for victories in a season. However, they lost in the opening round to the Ottawa Champions 3 games to 1. First baseman Art Charles, however, set league records in slugging percentage, extra base hits and total bases en route to being named the 2016 Baseball America Independent Leagues Player of the Year.[2]

After the 2016 season, manager Joe Calfapietra announced he was leaving the team after fourteen seasons to take over the managerial position with the American Association's Kansas City T-Bones. The team's bench coach, Matt Padgett, was promoted in February 2017 to replace him. The Jackals once again qualified for the playoffs but were eliminated by the Rockland Boulders in the opening round.

During the 2017 season, pitcher Johnny Hellweg signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates and first baseman Conrad Gregor signed with the Boston Red Sox organization.

After the 2017 season, Jackals Manager Matt Padgett announced he was not returning in 2018. The Jackals announced on December 18, 2017 that his replacement would be Brooks Carey, who had spent the previous five seasons managing the Normal CornBelters of the Frontier League.

Miscellaneous

Founded: 1998
Playoff Appearances: (16) 1998–1999, 2001–2004, 2007, 2009–2017
League Championships won: (4) 1998, 2001, 2002, 2004

The mascot for the Jackals is an anthropomorphic Jackal named Jack. He entertains the fans and has some trademark game antics, such as wiggling his tail, the Cha Cha Slide, the YMCA, etc. Jack is popular with children who attend the games, as well as the community.

The Jackals play at Yogi Berra Stadium, which is located on the Little Falls side of the Montclair State University campus and named for Hall of Fame ex-Yankee catcher Yogi Berra, a longtime Montclair resident. Also located at the stadium site is the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center, a baseball-themed educational attraction which also contains a stadium luxury box. The luxury box is used only by major league scouts and had been used by Berra for his annual visits to the ballpark where he signed autographs for the fans.

Retired jerseys

The Jackals have retired four jersey numbers since their inception.

  • 4 Zach Smithlin
Smithlin, a native of nearby Fair Lawn, New Jersey, joined the Jackals in 2004 after playing a year for the New Jersey Cardinals. After his first year with the team he was bought by the San Diego Padres, but returned to the Jackals after his release and remained with the team until 2009. Playing center field and later shortstop for the Jackals until 2009, Smithlin set the team records for games played, hits, runs scored, and stolen bases. Smithlin left baseball after playing a season with the Sussex Skyhawks in 2010 and the Jackals honored him by retiring his jersey on July 30,2011.
The Jackals retired #8 in honor of their stadium's namesake. Berra took residence in Montclair during his playing career with the Yankees and continued to reside in the area until he died in 2015.
Ott was a Jackals coach from 2007 until 2009 and again beginning in 2011. He is the first non-player to have his jersey retired by the Jackals since the team's founding and is the most recent Jackal to have his number retired, as the team honored him on June 20,2015.
  • 28 Joel Bennett
Bennett joined the Jackals in 2001 as a starting pitcher. A schoolteacher by trade from upstate New York, Bennett pitched for the Jackals until 2007 as was a member of three of the Jackals' league champion teams. He set all of the team's major career pitching records during his seven seasons, and served as a player-coach for his first two years. Bennett was the first Jackal player to have his number retired by the team, who honored him on August 22,2008 following his retirement from professional baseball.

Rivalries

Newark Bears

The New Jersey Jackals announced a formal rivalry with the Newark Bears shortly after the Bears joined the Can-Am League in 2010. Since both teams play in the vicinity of Essex County, New Jersey (the Jackals actually claim an address in Passaic County), they established the County Executives' Cup to formalize this geographical contest.[3] The rivalry came to an end when the Bears ceased operations following the 2013 season.

Les Capitales de Quebec

The Jackals have carried on a rivalry with Les Capitales de Quebec since the latter squad's inception. The teams' rivalry intensified with their recent string of playoff matchups. The Jackals have played the Capitales more than any other rival. They have squared off in the postseason five times in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015.

Rockland Boulders

The Jackals and Rockland Boulders became geographic rivals once the Boulders were founded, as the Boulders are the Jackals' closest geographic rivals. The teams play approximately thirty minutes away from each other and will often have series that are split between both Palisades Credit Union Park and Yogi Berra Stadium. The rivalry is called the Parkway Series due to the proximity of both teams to major state parkways; Palisades Credit Union Park is located off of Exit 12 of the Palisades Interstate Parkway while Yogi Berra Stadium is accessible by highway connections available at either Exit 153B or Exit 154 of the Garden State Parkway depending on direction.

Trois Rivières Aigles

The Jackals and Trois-Rivières Aigles have been rivals since 2013 when the Aigles joined the Can-Am League. The rivalry had been predominately dominated by the Jackals through its first three seasons. The two teams did match-up in the 2015 Can-Am League Championship, with the Aigles outlasting the Jackals in five games.

Other rivalries

Another geographic rival for the Jackals was the Sussex Skyhawks, who played in Augusta, New Jersey and were owned by the same ownership group as the Jackals. The rivalry ended when the Skyhawks were folded, but the Jackals have since started one with their successors, the Sussex County Miners.

The Jackals met and defeated the Winnipeg Goldeyes in both of their Northern League championship seasons.

Other rivals over the years have included the Elmira Pioneers, the Allentown Ambassadors, the Albany-Colonie Diamond Dogs, the New Haven County Cutters, the Adirondack/Bangor Lumberjacks, and the North Shore Spirit.

Logos and uniforms

The official colors of the New Jersey Jackals are red and black. The primary logo incorporates several elements, including the initials "NJ" for New Jersey with the "Jackals" wordmark following the "J." A stylized baseball in white with red threading and black outline dots the "J", with a depiction of a jackal's head in red with white shadowing and black outline is centered above the wordmark.

The Jackals wear a black cap for home games and red for away. The road cap has the "NJ" cap logo centered on the front, with a baseball dotting the "J." The home cap is black with the "jackal" cap logo centered on the front with a baseball incorporated with the logo to the left. The home jerseys are white with black pinstripes with the "Jackals" wordmark centered across in red with black outline. The away jerseys are grey with the "New Jersey" wordmark arched across the front in red letters with black outline. An alternate jersey is black with red piping with the "Jackals" wordmark centered across in red with white outline. The batting practice jersey is red with black sleeves, with the "NJ" cap logo centered on the left-side chest.

Notable alumni

Season records

New Jersey Jackals 1998–2017[5]
Season League Manager First Half Record Second Half Record Season Record
1998 Northeast League Kash Beauchamp 30–12, 1st place South 23–19, 2nd place South 53–31
1999 Northeast League Kash Beauchamp 23–19, 1st place South 22–21, 2nd place South (tie) 45–40
2000 Northern League Kash Beauchamp 17–25, 4th place South 14–27, 4th place South 31–52
2001 Northern League George Tsamis 20–25, 3rd place South 25–20, 2nd place South 45–45
2002 Northern League George Tsamis 30–15, 1st place South 32–12, 1st place South 62–27
2003 Northern League Joe Calfapietra 28–17, 1st place South 24–20, 1st place South 52–37
2004 Northeast League Joe Calfapietra 26–21, 1st place South 28–18, 1st place South 54–39
2005 Can-Am League Joe Calfapietra 25–21, 2nd place South 23–23, 3rd place South 48–44
2006 Can-Am League Joe Calfapietra 25–20, 2nd place (tie) 18–28, 7th place 43–48
2007 Can-Am League Joe Calfapietra 31–15, 1st place 18–29, 10th place 49–34
2008 Can-Am League Joe Calfapietra 25–22, 4th place 18–29, 8th place 43–41
2009 Can-Am League Joe Calfapietra 28–19, 1st place 27–20, 3rd place 55–39
2010 Can-Am League Joe Calfapietra 19–27, 5th place 23–23, 4th place 42–50
2011 Can-Am League Joe Calfapietra 27-20, 2nd place 30–16, 1st place 57–36
2012 Can-Am League Joe Calfapietra No Halves No Halves 59–41
2013 Can-Am League Joe Calfapietra No Halves No Halves 55–44
2014 Can-Am League Joe Calfapietra No Halves No Halves 55–41
2015 Can-Am League Joe Calfapietra No Halves No Halves 54–43
2016 Can-Am League Joe Calfapietra No Halves No Halves 62–38
2017 Can-Am League Matt Padgett No Halves No Halves 55–45
2018 Can-Am League Brooks Carey No Halves No Halves 50–52

All-time Team Records

Players in italics are still active.

Batting

Pitching

Statistics are as of the end of the 2017 season.[6]

Post-Season records

Post Season Records[7]
Year Opening Round League Championship Northern League Championship
1998 Defeated Allentown Ambassadors, 2 games to 0 Def. Albany-Colonie Diamond Dogs, 2 games to 0
1999 Defeated Allentown Ambassadors, 3 games to 0 Lost to Albany-Colonie Diamond Dogs, 3 games to 1
2001 Defeated Albany-Colonie Diamond Dogs, 3 games to 0 Def. Elmira Pioneers, 3 games to 2 Def. Winnipeg Goldeyes, 3 games to 1
2002 Defeated Elmira Pioneers, 3 games to 2 Def. Adirondack Lumberjacks, 3 games to 2 Def. Winnipeg Goldeyes, 3 games to 1
2003 Lost to Brockton Rox, 3 games to 1
2004 Defeated Bangor Lumberjacks, 3 games to 1 Def. North Shore Spirit, 3 games to 2
2007 Lost to Nashua Pride, 3 games to 2
2009 Lost to Worcester Tornadoes, 3 games to 0
2010 Lost to Québec Capitales, 3 games to 0
2011 Defeated Pittsfield Colonials, 3 games to 0 Lost to Québec Capitales, 3 games to 1
2012 Lost to Québec Capitales, 4 games to 3
2013 Lost to Québec Capitales, 4 games to 1
2014 Lost to Rockland Boulders, 4 games to 2
2015 Defeated Québec Capitales, 3 games to 2 Lost to Trois-Rivières Aigles, 3 games to 2
2016 Lost to Ottawa Champions, 3 games to 1
2017 Lost to Rockland Boulders, 3 games to 1

Current roster

New Jersey Jackals roster
Active (22-man) roster Coaches/Other

Pitchers

  • 17 Zach Arneson
  • -- Vic Black
  • 10 Dylan Brammer
  • 25 Yasmani Hernández
  • 34 Vin Mazzaro
  • -- Miguel Núñez ‡
  • 29 Pete Pérez
  • 36 Ricky Schafer
  • 26 Cody Strayer
  • 15 José Vélez
  • 22 Matt Vogel



 

Catchers

  • 12 Andy Mocahbee
  • 30 Kevin Torres

Infielders

  • 19 Rony Cabrera
  •  9 Danny Canela
  • 13 Taylor Oldham
  •  6 Seth Spivey
  • 16 Carlos Triunfel

Outfielders

  •  7 David Harris
  • 20 Jordan Hinshaw
  •  3 Connor Hofmann
  •  5 Nolan Meadows
 

Manager

  • 17 Brooks Carey

Coaches

  • -- Ed Loney (Clubhouse Manager)
  •  1 Jimmy Efre (Hitting Coach)
  •  2 Hisashi Ono (Assistant Coach)
  • 11 Daisuke Taira (Bench Coach)

Injury icon 2.svg Disabled list
‡ Inactive list
§ Suspended list

Roster updated October 8, 2018
Transactions

Broadcast homes

The Jackals currently offer broadcasts of their games via webcast at canamleague.tv and also provide an internet-only radio broadcast for its fans which is available on www.mixlr.com/jackalasbaseball. Alex Cammarata is the play-by-play broadcaster, taking over for Michael Cohen. Cammarata is in his first season with New Jersey, and calls every home and road game.

When the Jackals began in 1998, games were carried over Seton Hall University's WSOU. After a season there, the team moved to commercial station WMTR, an oldies station in Morristown, New Jersey. They also were heard on WJUX-FM, a New York-based standards station, ending their run on commercial radio in 2002. For this entire stretch, Jim Cerny was the voice of the Jackals.

WPSC-FM, the on-campus radio station for William Paterson University, took broadcast rights in 2003 and kept them until 2006. The original broadcast team consisted of Darren Cooper on play-by-play with Joe Ameruoso as color commentator. Cooper left the broadcast after the season, and Tony Colucci was added as color man to take over for the promoted Ameruoso. Beginning in 2005, Ameruoso did the broadcasts by himself and continued to do so after the broadcasts became web exclusive in 2007, continuing in the role for several more years until his eventual departure.

References

  1. ^ a b "New Jersey Jackals Announce New Owner". Ballpark Digest. August Publications. May 25, 2017. Retrieved May 25, 2017.
  2. ^ Cooper, J.J. (14 October 2016). "Art Charles Regains His Swing—And Confidence—In Jersey". Baseball America. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  3. ^ Bears, Jackals Announce Rivalry ‘County Executive’s Cup’
  4. ^ "Reds' Robert Stock got noticed with a video" | MLB.com
  5. ^ Atlantic League information
  6. ^ http://issuu.com/newjerseyjackals/docs/2012_jackals_record_book
  7. ^ Atlantic League information

External links

  • New Jersey Jackals (official site)
Achievements
Preceded by
Elmira Pioneers
1997
Northeast League Champions
New Jersey Jackals

1998
Succeeded by
Brockton Rox
2003
Preceded by
Adirondack Lumberjacks
2000
Northern League Champions
New Jersey Jackals

20012002
Succeeded by
Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks
2003
Preceded by
Brockton Rox
2003
Northeast League Champions
New Jersey Jackals

2004
Succeeded by
Worcester Tornadoes
2005 Can-Am
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