Chicago Cubs manager and 2016 World Series champion Joe Maddon visited the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center Friday night.
Maddon was invited to be part of an event that would also raise funds for the Museum and Learning Center.
Friday night’s discussion also included a cocktail hour. People came to the museum dressed up in their formal attire – the men dressed to the nines in suits and the women in elegant dresses.
Maddon was probably the most casually dressed that night, wearing a dark brown leather jacket, a mossy green T-shirt and midnight blue jeans, paired with some Vans.
Much like the way he dressed, Maddon was very relaxed answering the questions that both Fox Sports and MLB Network analyst Ken Rosenthal and the crowd asked him.
Rosenthal mainly asked about the sixth and seventh games of this year’s World Series and the decisions he made during those games. Rosenthal also asked about Yogi Berra.
While Maddon was manager of the Tampa Bay Rays back in 2006, he had dinner with the late Hall of Fame catcher, and their friendship grew from there.
“Any time we played the Yankees, he’d come and see me at the visitor’s manager’s office at Yankee Stadium and we’d just sit there and talk,” Maddon said. “The thing that stood out is that every time I spoke with him – say it’s May – I’d come back again in July and he’d remember everything about that conversation.”
Questioning was then opened to the floor. The most asked question that night was whether or not winning the World Series has sunk in yet.
“It still hasn’t sunk in; I don’t think yet,” Maddon said. “It’s pretty special obviously – the last play, the ground ball to third, [Kris Bryant] to [Anthony Rizzo,] that’s a surreal moment in one’s life and it’s really hard to describe.”
“I think it’s gonna sink in; I’m 62, maybe by the time I’m 82, I might figure it out.”
When the discussion closed, the crowd swarmed Maddon and asked for autographs. Doug Snyder, a Cubs fan, brought his son to meet the man who brought a championship back to the city who hasn’t seen one in the last 108 years.
“As a Cubs fan, you just keep hoping,” Snyder said. “The minute they hired Maddon, I just knew that he was the right person to do it.”
Dave Kaplan, the director of programs at the museum, was honored to have Maddon come and support the fundraiser.
“[Maddon has] been a great friend to Yogi and the museum and we have very similar values in terms of what his foundation, [Respect 90], does and what the museum does so this was really an ideal evening for us,” Kaplan said.