Chatham’s Schiffner Wins 500th Cape League Game

CHATHAM – To put things into perspective, a new Cape League field manager would have to win every game for 11 seasons to catch up to Chatham Anglers’ helmsman John Schiffner.

Chatham Anglers' field manager John Schiffner goes over ground rules at Lowell Park in Cotuit with Kettleers' field manager Mike Roberts in recent Cape League action. Schiffner won his 500th career game last night against the Kettleers. Sean Walsh/Capecod.com Sports

Chatham Anglers’ field manager John Schiffner goes over ground rules at Lowell Park in Cotuit with Kettleers’ field manager Mike Roberts in recent Cape League action. Schiffner won his 500th career game last night against the Kettleers.
Sean Walsh/Capecod.com Sports

Last night marked the 500th career Cape League win for “Schiff,” as he’s more commonly known, as his Chatham Anglers downed the Cotuit Kettleers at Veterans Field, 6-1, thanks in large part to a sixth-inning grand slam from Wake Forest slugger Will Craig, his first circuit clout of the summer.

The Cape League plays a 44-game schedule and no team in the modern era has ever gone undefeated. Schiffner’s Cape League managerial career began in 1993 and he is now in his 23rd season which gives him a lifetime average of nearly 22 wins per summer.

Schiffner’s extensive baseball coaching career began as an assistant role with the Harwich Mariners in 1977 before taking on the same role at Upsala College in 1978. From 1978-82, Schiffner served as an assistant for the Chatham A’s before working as a scout with the Montreal Expos from 1983-1988. Following his time with the Expos, Schiffner became manager of the New Jersey A’s in the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League in 1989 before taking on his most recent role at the helm of the Chatham A’s in 1993.

Schiffner retired from his long-time history teaching tenure in 2012 and finished his high school baseball coaching at Plainfield (CT) in 2011. Schiffner, who served as the Plainfield high school head coach from 1978-2011, guided the team to state tournament appearances in 31 of his 33 years at the helm. In 2001, Schiffner was named American Baseball Coaches Association, District I, Division III National High School Coach of the Year. In

Chatham Anglers' field manager John Schiffner with Nate Mondou (10) and an unidentified player earlier this season. Sean Walsh/Capecod.com

Chatham Anglers’ field manager John Schiffner with Nate Mondou (10) and an unidentified player earlier this season.
Sean Walsh/Capecod.com

2000, Schiffner was honored as the Connecticut High School Baseball Coach of the Year and ranked sixth in head coaching wins in Connecticut high school baseball history by the end of his career.

Born in Dover, N.J., Schiffner graduated from Providence College in 1977 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in social studies education before achieving his Masters of Science in human relations at Eastern Connecticut State University in 1986. While at Providence College, Schiffner captained the baseball team before playing with the Harwich Mariners in the CCBL.

Last year, Schiffner was hired as an assistant coach with the University of Maine Black Bears, one of the most prestigious DI NCAA baseball programs in the country.  Of the five modern era Cape League championship titles won by the Chatham A’s – now called the Chatham Anglers – Schiffner has claimed two of them in 1996 and 1998. Chatham won titles in 1967, 1982, 1992, 1996 and 1998.

Schiffner was named the Cape League Manager of the Year twice, receiving the Mike Curran Cape Cod Baseball League Manager of the Year Award in 1996 and most recently in 2013.

— Sean Walsh is the sports editor for www.capecod.com. His email is seanwalsh@ccb-media.com. Follow him on Twitter @coachwalshccbm. Portions of this story were provided by the University of Maine athletic department.

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