Maddon chats, plays games with Angels fans

December 19th, 2020

ANAHEIM -- Angels manager Joe Maddon had a busy Friday, making appearances on MLB Network Radio and MLB Network's Intentional Talk as well as speaking with the local media via Zoom for an hour.

But it was talking to patients and their families from MemorialCare Miller Children's & Women's Hospital Long Beach via Zoom on Friday that meant the most to him. Maddon, speaking from his home in Pennsylvania with a 1978 Angels pennant and cutouts of James Dean and Marilyn Monroe behind him, spent about 30 minutes answering questions and playing fun games with patients.

"It was wonderful," Maddon said. "We played 'Are you smarter than a Major League manager?' and I think I lost 3 to 2. But it was great and I’m happy for that.”

Maddon noted that he didn’t know that Lou Gehrig was the first baseball player to be featured on a Wheaties box and that 1903 was the first time the World Series was played. He also fessed up that he thought Wrigley Field was older than Fenway Park.

But it was a fun way for Maddon to interact with patients and keep their spirits up during the holiday season. He has remained involved in community efforts throughout the offseason despite the challenges of the pandemic.

Maddon and his Respect 90 Foundation hosted their annual "Thanksmas" day on Wednesday, donating turkeys, food boxes and other holiday items to those in need at the Hazleton One Community Center in his hometown of Hazelton, Pa.

The Angels also held a community event recently, as their annual Angels Baseball Foundation Kids Holiday Event took place on Dec. 5. The event, which is usually held inside the stadium, was changed to a drive-through outside the ballpark due to the pandemic. But 250 local youth attended the event and received Angels memorabilia and holiday gifts courtesy of Magical Builders, a local charity for at-risk children.