Los Angeles Angels manager Joe Maddon is the special guest for the ninth episode of the Italian American Baseball Foundation Spaghetti & Baseballs Facebook Livesteam on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 8:15 pm (ET). Co-hosts Chris Colabello and Natalie Spedaliere have welcomed the likes of Frank Catalanotto, Anthony Iapoce, Mike Napoli, John Franco, Lee Mazzilli, L.J. Mazzilli, Bobby Valentine, Jon Morosi, Sal Butera, Drew Butera, and Frank Menechino since the program debuted last year.
With an abbreviated season under his belt as the skipper for the Los Angeles Angels, Joe Maddon is expected to propel the Halos into the 2021 playoffs with the help of MLB superstar Mike Trout. A proven winner who can bring back the glory days of 2002 when the Angels won the World Series title, Joe Maddon had quite a ride In his five seasons managing the Chicago Cubs. He led the team to a 2016 World Series championship title, two National League Central titles, and four playoff appearances. Prior to his success in the Windy City, Joe Maddon took the Tampa Bay Rays to the playoffs in four of the nine seasons he managed—including one of two of the squad’s World Series appearance in 2008. During his tenure with the Rays, he also received the prestigious Manager of the Year Award twice.
Baseball in Italy received a Major League boost in 2012 when Joe Maddon along with members of his coaching staff led instructional clinics for the delegation participating in the Italian Coaches Convention at Castelnuovo de Garda (Verona). The winning touch of Joe Maddon had a positive influence on Italian baseball as Team Italy later won the 2012 European championship title, a feat that new Azzurri manager Mike Piazza plans on recapturing this year in Torino. Coincidentally, the Italian American Baseball Foundation (IABF) made Mike Piazza (2016) and Joe Maddon (2017) honorary members so that they would lead the nonprofit organization to greatness. Working together as one, the IABF and Federazione Italiana Baseball Softball are making a difference in elevating the quality and the growth of the game in Italy.
Italy has also had a profound effect on Joe Maddon, whose paternal grandfather Carmen Joe Maddonni emmigrated from Abruzzo, Italy in the early 1900’s and settled in Hazleton, Pennsylvania. His last name was shortened so his grandfather could disguise the family name as Irish to make it easier to find employment in the mines. Naturalization records show he became an American citizen in 1921 at age 28. Carmen Joe Maddonni made it out alive out of the mines, and he started C. Maddon & Sons Plumbing in 1936. His son Joe — one of 11 children — took over the business and had three children of his own, Joe Jr., Carmine and Mark. The trio had more than 20 aunts and uncles and countless cousins. The Maddons all lived together in the room above the plumbing storefront or in nearby apartment buildings.
Joe Maddon loves his Italian heritage as well as the Italian cuisine and fine wines that go along with it. His Tampa-based Ava Restaurant features authentic Italian dishes, a 600-pound Acunto Napoli pizza oven from Naples, a food prep table from Verona, a 1,000-bottle wine collection, and a secret room that seats 12. The secret room, a favorite hideout for celebrities, is accessible through a narrow hallway that leads to the rear of the restaurant and the parking lot. Inside, the entrance is located behind a mirrored wall, with a hidden door handle.
Learn more about the remarkable Joe Maddon as he joins the Italian American Baseball Foundation Spaghetti & Baseballs Facebook Livesteam on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 8:15 pm (ET). Forza #Italia!
by Roberto Angotti