Respect 90 provides children and families opportunities to develop championship attitudes through sports, academics and community involvement.
For every exciting moment Joe Maddon facilitates on the field, there are equally charitable moments taking place off the field.
Respect 90, HIP & Thanksmas
In his 12 seasons as a major league manager, Joe Maddon has made few demands of his players, but there is one: all players must run hard to first base. “I ask our players to run hard for 90 feet to respect that distance and the respect will come back to you,” he says.
The concept began on a plane ride sometime in the 1990’s. Joe had just been passed over to join the major league staff of the Angels and was upset. Instead of Anaheim, Joe was headed to Midland, Texas, where he was to be a roving hitting instructor. He wasn’t happy and to make matters worse, Maddon got stuck in a middle seat.
“This woman sits down on the window seat, and she starts talking, which I didn’t want to do either. It was just one of those days. Eventually, during the course of the conversation, I don’t know why, she said, ‘Whatever you put out there will come back to you.’
“I promise you I got off that airplane that day with an entirely different outlook. That’s the part about ‘Respect 90.’ Understand whatever you put out there will come back to you. If you give respect, you’ll get respect in return. That’s the message and the only message I want to get out of that.”
In 2015, Joe and his wife, Jaye, formed the Respect 90 Foundation. Respect 90 seeks to provide children and families opportunities to develop championship attitudes through sports, academics, and community involvement in all the places they call home: Chicago, IL, Tampa, FL, Mesa, AZ and Joe’s hometown of Hazleton, PA.
In 2011, Joe and Jaye started the Hazleton Integration Project. HIP, as it’s aptly referred to, was created to develop and maintain an atmosphere that will serve to unify the varied cultures of Hazleton. In June 2013, HIP opened its Hazleton Community One Center. Over 1,000 people each week walk through its’ doors for services. Many weeks over 2,000. Three fourths of those are children between the ages of 4 and 18, and the vast majority of those are from economically disadvantaged families. Many of those are involved in a variety of classes and activities.The center features over 30 programs as diverse as basketball camps, archery lessons, arts and crafts, guitar instruction and family yoga. The center has been acknowledged as a model example of helping to integrate newcomers into a community in dozens of media outlets and research papers across the country. Nearby communities have turned to the HIP blueprint to start initiatives of their own.
Joe’s focus on helping families and tackling the homelessness issue began while working with the Angels in Southern California. “I would see men, women, entire families with all of their possessions in a shopping cart. They were invisible to so many. Well, they weren’t invisible to me.”
But it wasn’t until he earned his first major league managing job before he felt he had the proper forum to help. That opportunity came in 2006 as the manager of the Tampa Bay Rays. Soon after he created Thanksmas, a program designed to bring attention to homelessness. It is typically held between Thanksgiving and Christmas to bring attention to the fact that homelessness is an issue every day, not only on holidays. Since then, Maddon and his army of volunteers have served approximately 10,000 meals and provided clothing at homeless shelters in Tampa Bay, Chicago and Hazleton, PA, his hometown. The meal provided is always a traditional Italian/Polish feast in honor of his heritage.
Get to Know Joe
Known for his superb communication skills and fearless use of imaginative managerial tactics, Joe Maddon enters his 43rd season in professional baseball, 12th as a major league manager and third as manager of the Chicago Cubs.
In 2016, he steered the Cubs to their first National League pennant since 1945, their first World Series title since 1908 and with a 103-59 record, their most wins since 1910.
This season, he became the first manager in major league history to reach the postseason seven times in his first twelve full seasons. He’s also the first Cubs manager to lead the team to three consecutive postseasons since Frank Chance accomplished the feat in 1906-1908.
Maddon’s 827 wins and six postseason appearances since 2008 rank first among major league managers.
In 2016 he joined Lou Piniella as the only two managers to lead the Cubs to back-to-back postseason appearances in more than 100 years. He previously managed the Tampa Bay Rays for nine seasons (2006-14) and led them to the postseason four times.
He has engineered two of the greatest turnarounds in major league history. In 2008, he took the Rays from a 68-96 last place finish in 2007 to a 98-64 mark and a World Series berth. In his first year with the Cubs, he guided them to a 97-65 season, 34 more wins than the previous season.
Maddon is one of only four managers in major league history to go to the postseason six or more times and not play in the major leagues. Joe won the Manager of the Year Award in 2008, 2011 and 2015 making him one only seven managers (and three currently active) to win the award at least three times. He joins Tony La Russa (four times), Bobby Cox (four), Dusty Baker (three), Jim Leyland (three), Buck Showalter (three) and Piniella (three). He is the sixth manager (and just the second active) to win the award in both leagues, joining La Russa, Cox, Leyland, Piniella and Bob Melvin.
Joe attended Lafayette College (Easton, PA) where he played three years of varsity baseball and one season of freshman football. During his freshman season, he was converted from shortstop-pitcher to catcher, a transition that occurred during Lafayette’s southern road trip to Florida. He received his honorary degree from Lafayette on September 2, 2010 and was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in November 2009.
Maddon went undrafted, but signed with the Angels and played three seasons of minor league ball. He would go on to spend another three decades in the Angels organization as a coach, instructor and scout, the last 12 on the major league coaching staff. Joe’s managing career began with Class A Idaho Falls in 1981.
Joe grew up in an apartment above the plumbing shop run by his grandfather, father and uncles. Joe Sr. passed away in 2002, six months before the Angels won the World Series with his son as bench coach. His mother, Beanie, 86, recently retired as a waitress at the Third Base Luncheonette in Hazleton. Joe married Jaye Sousoures on November 8, 2008, 10 days after the Rays fell to the Phillies in the World Series. Between them, they have four grown children and five grandchildren.
An avid cyclist, Joe bikes up to 100 miles per week. Joe cooks, gardens, and his musical tastes range from Pavarotti to Bruce Springsteen. He is also a connoisseur of fine wines, favoring the Spanish reds and wines from Washington state.
His passion for great food and wine was the driver for Joe to partner in two highly successful northern Italian restaurants located in Tampa.
Joe is a bit of a style-setter, from his unique choices of eyewear, to his mode of transportation, to his hair color and style, which often change at times when he feels it will help take the pressure of his team. Unique clubhouse visitors, themed road trips, American Legion week when players are encouraged to arrive later than usual to the park and don’t take batting practice, and the regular use of five-man infields and other aggressive deployments. Each season begins when he and Jaye make their annual trip to spring training in the couple’s 45-foot RV.