Originally from Worcester, MA, J.P Ricciardi, and the New York Mets originally crossed paths. Drafted by the Amazins in 1980, the infield prospect struggled to find any success in low Single-A and was dropped after he failed to play above the Mendoza Line in his second year.
Ricciardi would then move to the crosstown rival Yankees, where he joined the Bronx Bombers as a coach and scout for their farm system.
Three years later, Ricciardi would get his first phone call from Alderson, offering him a job within the Oakland Athletics organization as a scout and minor league instructor.
From 1986 to 1996, Ricciardi rose up through the ranks of the organization as a scout to East Coast Scouting Supervisor, eventually to the role of National Crosschecker. However, when Alderson left the organization before the 1997 season, it was Ricciardi’s former Mets Single-A teammate that gave him his biggest break yet.
In 1997, Billy Beane promoted Ricciardi to the role of Head of Player Development. To this day Ricciardi is referred to as one of the “Original Moneyball Guys.”
In 2001, Ricciardi got his first GM job with the Toronto Blue Jays. The move up north didn’t yield much success for either side, as the Blue Jays failed to make the playoffs during Ricciardi’s tenure. Either just above .500 or just below, the Blue Jays never really made the most of what is arguably some of their most talented squads in franchise history.
Two days before the 2009 season was over, Ricciardi was relieved of his position.
The Mets would snap him up a year later, citing his 12 years of working with Alderson.
Interesting Fun Fact: Ricciardi once met Jackie Robinson and got an autograph in pencil.