Maddon was born and raised in Hazelton, a Pennsylvania coal town 95 miles northwest of Philadelphia. He was a decent basketball player and standout shortstop and pitcher. But it was as a quarterback that he shined.
He was known as Broad Street Joey, a reference to one of Hazleton's main drags; his teammates also called him Monsignor because, no matter how much they egged him on, they couldn't get him to curse.
Joe was recruited by Princeton and Penn and received a ltter from Roger Staubach trying to lure him to Navy. But in 1973, he accepted a football scholarship from a college closer to home: Lafayette College in Easton, PA. He became an economics major. Even though he was penciled in as quarterback his freshman year, Maddon quit the team to concentrate on baseball.
In 1975, after his junior year, Joe left school to sign with the Angels as a free agent.
Joe grew up in an apartment over hid dad's plumbing shop on a block that teemed with aunts, uncles and cousins. His upbringing was steeped in the importance of family, respect for others and the value of hard work.
"Joe Sr. worked his ass off every day, but every evening he'd play catch with me, or throw a football with me through this tired he hung in the basement, or shoot hoops with me," the younger Joe recalled.
"He taught me that you could work hard and have a good time, and he was always there for me.
Maddon's Dad died on April 15, 2002, six months before the Angels won the World Series, with his son as bench coach.
"But not before he saw me manage the Angels in Camden Yards when I was the intern," Joe said.
- Joe says the best Christmas present he ever got was, "the Flexible Flyer sled I got when I was 8 years old. It was the coolest sled I had ever seen, had a chrome bumper so I could run into things—which I did. "
Joe grew up a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals. Born in Pennsylvania, Maddon said his connection with the Cardinals began in a unique way in 1962, when his father took him to a game at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees played the White Sox, and after it was over, Maddon exited through the centerfield wall and picked a Cardinals hat from a merchandise stand.
"A blue hat with the red S-T-L on it," he said. "I fell in love." (Joe Smith-St. Petersburg Times-5/16/08)
Maddon graduated from Lafayette University in Easton, Pennsylvania (1972-1976). He has a degree in economics. Joe played three years on the varsity football and baseball teams. He was the quarterback and in his final game at Lafayette he completed 14 of 17 passes, including 13 in a row, throwing four touchdowns in a win over Lehigh.
He says his biggest influence in baseball was Norm Gigon, his coach at Lafayette.
"Norm Gigon had a cup of coffee as a utility player for the Cubs (yes, the Cubs) and he taught me how to play and convinced me I could be a catcher."
Joe recalled, "Lafayette was only 50 miles from Hazleton, but it seemed a world away. After a couple of days I called my mother, Albina (Beanie to everyone in Hazleton) and said, 'Mom, I want to come home. I want to be a plummer like dad.' And she says, 'You're not coming home. Don't even think about it.'
"Well, freshman fotball started, then classes, and I did stop thinking about it. Lafayette gave me so much—socially, academically, athletically. I went there for football, but it was in baseball that I found myself." (Steve Wulf - ESPN the Magazine - 12/22/2014)
- Joe was a member of Boulder, Colorado collegiate team that won the 1975 National Baseball Congress championship in Wichita, Kansas.
In 1972, Maddon graduated from Hazelton High in Pennsylvania. He lettered three years in football and baseball.
In 2003, the school named its baseball field Joe Maddon Field.
Maddon's grandparents were coal miners.
Joe's father was a plumber. His name was Joe also. And he shortened the Italian family name from Maddoninni.
His Mom is Polish. She is 75 years of age in 2009. At that time, she was still working as a waitress at the "Third Base Dugout" in Hazelton, Pennsylvania.
Joe's Mom still works at the the restaurant in Hazleton, Pa., a business that has been in his family since it opened in 1949. The counters are the original ones. So are the stools, all 20 of them. The rotary phone on the wall still works, at GLadstone 5-0631. Beanie works the 7:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. shift during the week, dishing out eggs and coffee and good-natured grief to customers of all ages. Her real name is Albina, but everyone calls her Beanie.
Dave Mishinski runs the place now. He is Joey's cousin. (Maddon is Joey in this town. No one calls him Joe here.) They also serve the best hoagie in town. It is packed with salami, ham, cheese, and onions.
- Joe is personable and popular with the players and coaches. He has an engaging personality. "I like to treat people the way I like to be treated; I think we all do. Philosophically, it's about being yourself. When you try to be pretentious or try to be something you're not, it shows through very quickly and easily," Maddon said.
- He is divorced with two children from his previous marriage: Sarah, born in 1983, and Joey, born in 1985. And Maddon also has two grandchildren, Tyler and Coral Ray.
- Joe bought an 1889 Victorian home in his hometown of Hazleton, Pa. in 2004.
- Maddon did regular spots on the Angels' pregame radio show and occasionally wrote a diary for MLB.com.
Joe wears uniform #70. The story goes that Maddon was wearing No. 20 when he was coaching in the Minors when Don Sutton was coming up through the organization. And Sutton wanted No. 20, so Maddon just happened to find a uniform with No. 70 on it and has worn that number ever since, including with the D'Rays as manager.
Maddon rides a bicycle for both exercise and enjoyment. He even takes it on the road with him and will ride it four or five days a week, for 15 to 20 miles. In 2005, his bike was a Track 77 FX.
For example, when the Angels are in Boston, Joe said, "I go along the Charles River, past MIT, past Harvard, over to Boston College and back. It's a ritualistic thing. I like to go by all those colleges and see if I get more intelligent by the time I get back."
- Joe likes gardening. And he likes to cook. And he knows the difference between a good glass of red wine and a bad one.
- Maddon listens to Pavarotti. He says the two coolest things he has ever seen are the roof of the Sistine Chapel and a Rolling Stones concert. He reads Pat Conroy. His favorite baseball movie is Bull Durham, but no, he isn't the manager in that one. He's the catcher.
He loves Bruce Springsteen, which seems to be a job requirement these days. It's good to listen to The Boss if the boss loves The Boss. And he likes the Goo Goo Dolls and Coldplay.
Maddon has the personality of a teenager, according to Scott Kazmir, the ace of the Rays' pitching staff. "He fits in well with us," the pitcher says.
Joe is a voracious reader who keeps a wine rack in his Tropicana Field office. He bikes 5 to 10 miles most days and can hold forth on a seemingly endless array of topics: James Michener novels, gardening, self-help psychology, and the best bicycling routes in every American League city. (Stephen Cannella-Sports Illustrated-10/06/08)
Maddon owns a truck and a Corvette. He likes flowers. He likes the Arizona Cardinals, for goodness' sake. His Ipod is only 20 gigs, but he wants a new one. Once, he tried to listen to 50 Cent, but he couldn't appreciate it. Given the team payroll of the Devil Rays, that's a shame.
He also downloads music, emails people, and reads. (Gary Shelton-St. Petersburg Times-11/16/05)
The black-rimmed retro glasses Joe wears were a gift from his girlfriend, Jaye Sousoures, who simply thinks they look good on him. He has been dating her since 2004. She owns a business consulting firm and went to law school at night, until she graduated from Western State Law School in Fullerton, California in 2006.
"She wanted me to go unconventional," Maddon said of the glasses. "I got no support from anyone in the Angels' locker room when I first wore them in 2005. Really, no one likes them. But I do."
- Joe is as computer savvy as a geek. He was one of the first people in baseball to use a computer—back in the early 1990s.
June 14, 2007: While on their West Coast road swing, Maddon proposed to his longtime girlfriend, Jaye Sousoures. The site, Boulder, Colorado.
"We went to one of my old haunts up there, a real cheesy place," said Maddon, who reported she said yes. "I thought the timing was right and the place was right."
And they were married on November 8, 2008 in California, followed by a honeymoon in Europe, spending much of their time in Rome.
"I'm looking forward, hopefully, to successfully concluding this whole thing and get on a plane and getting over to Rome, getting off there and just putting a backpack on and hitting the trains and just having a good time," Joe said in October 2008, as his Rays were battling the Red Sox to go to the World Series and face the Phillies.
Asked what a perfect night at home with his wife, Jaye would involve, as far as music, food and drink, Joe said, "The music—she's into Springsteen as much as I am. I would make some kind of Italian dish, a real good pasta with the homemade meatballs and sausage, and she loves the Caprese salad with the mozzarella cheese and such. The perfect bottle of wine? She's either going to say Silver Oak or Merryvale Profile."
Joe said his favorite restaurant is Casamato's in Hazelton, Pennsylvania.
His favorite movies: "The Godfather" and "The Deer Hunter."
How about heroes. Maddon said, "My father, former Angels coach Bob Clear, Branch Rickey, James Michener, who got me interested in reading." (Ryan Fagan-The Sporting News-4/27/09)
During the first half of the 2009 season, Joe's wife, Jaye, searched for, picked out, negotiated and closed on, cleaned up and readied and moved them into—all while he was hanging out in the dugout.
"I have a lot of faith in her," Maddon said. "And she's good."
The house is in Long Beach, a Tampa suburb. It's an old four-bedroom with space for a wine cellar (of course!), 3½ blocks from the ocean, with a price that ran into seven figures. The couple had talked over the 6-7 years they've known each other about what they'd like, but this was all Jaye. Joe has seen a few photos and looked quickly at a short video Jaye posted online, but he has no worries.
"Not only from the taste and quality what she would choose, but her ability to work the finances … so it was easy," Maddon said before he saw it for the first time on August 10, 2009. "I told her, 'Hey, babe, just get what you like. Of course I trust you. I don't want to hear about it. Just tell me where to show up.' " (Marc Topkin-St. Petersburg Times-8/10/09)
Joe showed up at 2011 spring training driving his 1972 "candy apple blue" (?) Chevelle Malibu.
Maddon is noted for his ability to made players relax before game by bringing in entertainers such as DJ's and magicians for shows leading up to games. One time Maddon paraded around the clubhouse with the bird, who came to the park from nearby Sunken Gardens, on his left shoulder prior to going outside to conduct his pregame meeting with the media, also with the bird perched on his shoulder. Then he brought in penguins the next day.
- Rays manager Joe Maddon has gained acclaim with an unconventional style, so it's only fitting that an unconventional promotion bearing his likeness is gaining attention.
On April 24, 2013 in a game against the Yankees, the Rays gave away Joe Maddon gnomes to the first 10,000 fans at Tropicana Field.
The gnome features Maddon's likeness wearing a hoodie and a pointed gnome-style hat. Maddon got such a kick out of the promotion that he brought one on the trip, dubbing it "Joe Gnome."
In 2013, Joe partnered with 717 South owner to open a new restaurant called Ava, which means" breath of life." It is an upscale Italian eatery in Tampa.
On July 26, 2013, Maddon's fourth grandchild, and second grandson, was born. Giuseppe Ennio Maddon was born in Mesa, Arizona to his son, Joey and his wife.
Maddon explained that "Ennio" means predestined.
"My son [Joey] does all kinds of research," Maddon said. "Just wanted to hold onto the Italian heritage, so he threw it out there and I thought that was fantastic."
September 25, 2015: When Maddon was hired in November 2014, he talked about getting the Cubs to the postseason, which seemed premature at the time.
"I would say that every year anyways," Maddon said. "Sitting over there [at his introductory news conference], I think you guys know me by now to know I really believed it. I don't understand how you approach a season any other way."
And Maddon's vow was finally realized after the Giants fell to the A's, helping Chicago clinch its first postseason berth since 2008.
"There are so many wonderful items already in place here that I was fortunate to lock in on—the leadership at the top, players on the field, what's going on in the Minor League system," Maddon said. "I was fortunate. The eventual signing of John Lester and the ascension of [Jake] Arrieta this year make it all more possible. I did believe it when I said it.
"I love playing in what is perceived to be the best division in baseball," Maddon said. "It's about the end of the season and the last game of the season, and getting to that particular moment. Sometimes it takes a different route to get there.
"I really respect what both [the Cardinals and Pirates] have done. I like to believe we've pushed them a little bit, too, in this particular season ... I think it's aided us in getting better quicker." (C Muskat - MLB.com - September 26, 2015)