Barone Earns Promotion

Jamestown Native Named Manager Of Milwaukee Milkmen

In their inaugural season, the Milwaukee Milkmen went 38-62 this summer. Photo courtesy of Milwaukee Milkmen

FRANKLIN, Wisc. — Anthony Barone made a good enough first impression with ROC Ventures in 2015 to be named the manager of the Jamestown Jammers.

Five years later, the relationship continues to grow.

On Monday, Barone was promoted to manager of the Milwaukee Milkmen.

“It’s been quite the journey,” Barone said after returning to Jamestown on Wednesday evening. “I didn’t know anything was going to happen. It was our first year and we competed pretty well. I learned a lot this year. My first year in professional baseball — it’s a different game.”

The Milkmen recently completed their inaugural season in the American Association’s North Division with a 38-62 record, prompting the dismissal of manager Gary McClure.

Anthony Barone, an assistant coach with the Milwaukee Milkmen this past year, will be their manager in 2020. Photo courtesy of Milwaukee Milkmen

“We learned a lot during this first season, and the entire organization appreciates the outstanding efforts of Gary McClure,” ROC Ventures CEO Mike Zimmerman said in a news release. “He provided structure and direction during a period when there were a lot of unknowns to confront and solve on and off the field.”

With McClure’s dismissal, the team will also be looking to put a new coaching staff in place.

“We are trying to get a staff in place by Oct. 1. We’ll have a hitting coach, pitching coach and bench coach, but we haven’t made any hires yet,” Barone said. “We are in the process of interviewing people.”

“It’s a really important part … you want to surround yourself with guys who have been there and done that,” Barone added, ” … who have a good mix of energy and knowledge of the game.”

Barone was an assistant coach in charge of infield defense and hitting with Milwaukee last year, the team’s first in American Association — an independent professional league.

“A lot of these guys skillwise are at another level. It’s about managing them. If they need something, they’ll ask for your advice,” Barone said. “It’s a lot different coaching a college guy vs. a professional athlete. They’ve all been at a high level and they’re looking to tweak things more than anything else.

“This league plays in a lot of top-notch facilities,” Barone added, noting teams in St. Paul, Minnesota; Fargo, North Dakota; Chicago; Winnipeg, Manitoba; and Gary, Indiana, just in the North Division. “Our facility is in the upper echelon of the league. It’s only going to get better and better with the community support.”

During his time leading the Jammers from 2015-18, beginning in the Prospect League before switching to the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League, Barone was twice named the PGCBL Coach of the Year, the only coach in league history to be honored twice.

In 2017, the Jammers won the Western Division title before winning the league championship in 2018.

A Jamestown native, Barone attended Jamestown Community College, playing baseball and basketball for two years. He was named one of the college’s Top 50 Athletes of all-time.

Barone finished his academic career at Felician (N.J.) University where he was an all-conference athlete and two-time Academic All-American.

Barone returned to Jamestown CC as manager of the baseball team and amassed 207 victories, including a 101-62 record in Region 3. He was named NJCAA Region 3 Coach of the Year in 2008 and led the Jayhawks to five straight regional tournaments.

From 2012-14, Barone was an assistant coach at Cal State-Bakersfield, and the team won a Western Athletic Conference regular season title.

While with the Jammers, Barone’s teams were ranked No. 13 in 2015, No. 4 in 2017 and No. 10 in 2018 by collegiatesummerbaseball.com.

Barone has coached or managed 46 players who eventually became professional players.

Now he will be managing them after they become pros.

“We have a really good foundation in place with our players. We have a good group of guys coming back and a lot of good leaders in the clubhouse,” Barone said. “My job is to manage Mike Zimmerman’s team. It’s Mike’s team and Dan Kuenzi operates as COO. I’m in place as the manager. I’m looking to make sure the clubhouse runs smoothly and making sure there is good communication between the players and staff. I’m really excited about the opportunity. I’m very blessed and humbled at the same time.

“It’s a blessing to be a part of ROC Ventures. Mike and Dan gave me a start in Jamestown. They’ve been loyal to me since then and I’ve been loyal to them,” Barone added. “You have to win games too and get results. I know going into this job this upcoming year we have to win games and put a good product on the field. I’m very grateful to be working for them. … I couldn’t be any luckier. It’s a dream come true for me.”