The San Francisco Giants praised their 46-year-old Jewish manager and announced last week that they had extended Gabe Kapler’s contract for two years after an impressive 2021 season, his second on the team.
Kapler, who recently caused a sensation on social media This photo about him who cycles in style (don’t tell his Jewish mother that he wasn’t wearing a helmet) and who is known? Bicycles to and from work in Oracle Park, which will direct traffic from the Giants shelter until at least the 2024 season, the team announced on November 12th. His contract expired by the end of the 2022 season.
Sunday mood served by @gabekapler pic.twitter.com/RCD0qHkhEk
– SFGiants (@SFGiants) August 1, 2021
“We are very excited to be able to stabilize this relationship over the long term,” said Farhan Zaidi, the team’s president of baseball operations.
“The organization has improved both on and off the field,” said General Manager Scott Harris since 2019. “I think this is a tribute to Cape and all the hard work he’s put into this job.”
Kapler, who grew up in the San Fernando Valley and graduated from Taft High School in Woodland Hills, spent 12 seasons as a major league outfielder before embarking on a second career in player development, coaching and management. He got his first managerial job with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2018, and after being fired after two seasons in which the team set a record of 161-163, the Giants hired him in November 2019.
He is one of two current Jewish managers in the major leagues. The other is Bob Melvin, who recently left the Oakland A’s after 11 seasons to take the helm for the San Diego Padres.
After a fair appearance in a 2020 season cut off from the effects of the pandemic, the Giants dramatically exceeded expectations in Kapler’s second term, hitting a franchise record of 107 victories behind a mix of strong performances from veterans like Brandon Crawford and Buster Posey and contributions from younger players like pitcher Logan Webb.
The team was eliminated from the playoffs in a dramatic series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, which went into a fifth and decisive game. Still, Kapler is a favorite for winning the National League Manager of the Year Award, an honor Bruce Bochy never received in his 13 seasons with the Giants despite leading them to three World Series titles.
The son of two teachers who said in 2017 that he feels “Immensely proud” of the Jewish People, Kapler was the player-coach for the Israeli national baseball team during the 2013 World Baseball Classic. He called the experience of visiting Israel in 2017 “extraordinary”.
Among his many tattoos – he reportedly has 14 – there is a Star of David on one leg and the words “Never Again” on the other.
Kapler is one of only nine Jewish managers in the long history of the Major Leagues; the list includes ex-catcher Brad Ausmus, Lipman “Lip” Pike (a player manager in the 1870s) and Andy Cohen, who ran a game for the Phillies in 1960, corresponding the Jewish baseball news.
Kapler shared his appreciation to fans and Giants brass in the team’s video announcement.
“I really enjoyed getting to know our fan base and I feel like San Francisco is home now,” he said. “It feels like a confirmation of what I’ve already felt – namely, that I belong here.”