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 > Little League Online > Media > Little League News Archive > 2008 > Little League Graduate Joe Maddon, Manager of the Tampa Bay Rays, Wins MLB’s American League Manager of the Year Award

Little League Graduate Joe Maddon, Manager of the Tampa Bay Rays, Wins MLB’s American League Manager of the Year Award

Little League Graduate Joe Maddon, Manager of the Tampa Bay Rays, Wins MLB’s American League Manager of the Year Award

TampaBayRays_JoeMaddon_Manager

Joe Maddon enjoyed storybook success during the 2008 Major League Baseball season as manager of the American League Champion Tampa Bay Rays. Recently, he was recognized for his team’s outstanding season with his selection as the American League Manger of the Year.

Under Mr. Maddon, the Rays won their first American League Eastern Division championship and American League Pennant before losing the 2008 World Series to the Philadelphia Phillies in five games.

The early chapters of Mr. Maddon’s baseball story were written about 90 minutes from Little League International in Hazleton, Pa. Mr. Maddon played Little League in Hazleton during the mid-1960s. A graduate of Hazleton Area High School, the school’s baseball field was re-named “Joe Maddon Field” in 2003.

After graduation from Lafayette College in Easton, Pa., and a brief professional playing career, Mr. Maddon began his coaching career in 1981. After various minor league stints, he joined the California Angels staff as bullpen coach in 1994. He served as the Angels’ interim manager on three occasions before leaving for Tampa.

Mr. Maddon was with the Angels for 31 years, prior to his 2005 hire as the fourth manager in Rays franchise history. In his first season, he guided the Rays to their most wins at Tropicana Field (41). This season, the Rays fourth under Maddon, Tampa Bay won the American League East Division - the team’s first division championship.

During the regular season, Mr. Maddon’s Rays finished with a mark of 97-65, and defeated the Central Division Champion Chicago White Sox and the Boston Red Sox, respectively, to win the American League pennant. The Rays went from last place to first in a single season after finishing the 2007 regular season with a league-worst record of 66-96.

Mr. Maddon has two children Sarah and Joey, and two grandchildren Tyler, and Coral Ray. Mr. Maddon’s mother, Albina, still lives in Hazleton.