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Monday, October 20, 2008

Joe Maddon's Got Some Fans In Pennsylvania

In and around his hometown of Hazleton, Pa., Joe Maddon's turning Phillies fans into Rays fans, just for this World Series:
It was exciting enough when Maddon was a bench coach for the Los Angeles Angels during that team's championship season in 2002. Now, he's the manager of the Tampa Bay Rays, the young, talented American League team preparing to take on the Phillies in the World Series starting Wednesday. And you'd be hard pressed to find anyone in this coal-region town who isn't on the Maddon bandwagon.

"I'm a Phillies fan, but this year I'm not," said Cindy Waschko, fourth-generation owner of Waschko's Pharmacy on Wyoming Street. "I would love to see Joe go all the way with this team."

So, obviously, would Joe's mother. Albina "Beanie" Maddon works at the Third Base Luncheonette on North Wyoming Street, making what are reputed to be the world's finest hoagies for crowds of regulars who want the Rays to win as much for Beanie's sake as for Joe's.

"She's dancing on Cloud Nine right now," said luncheonette patron Frank Cabell, a Cubs fan who already has forgotten this year's inevitable heartbreak to root for the Rays.

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