The Chicago Cubs enter Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday with one of the longest championship droughts– their last title goes back to 1908.
Joe Maddon is an instrumental component of the team reaching their first World Series appearance since 1945. The 62-year-old manager is among the highest-paid managers in baseball, and for good reason. He has become known for his on-field savvy, but also for his charisma and unconventional approach, which has gained him the reputation as a players manager.
Off the field, Maddon leads a full life as a husband, restauranter, and grandfather. Here is more on Maddon’s wife, Jaye and their life away from the baseball field.
1. Jaye Met Maddon at an Athletic Club in California
Maddon and Jaye first met in 1995 at the Rossmoor Athletic Club in Seal Beach, Calif., where Jaye worked in accounting. Maddon, who is eight years her senior, was a bench coach for the Los Angeles Angels. They were both married at the time, but quickly took to one another and became friends. Maddon, who knew Jaye and her friend were baseball fanatics, would leave them tickets to Angels games, according to TBO.com.
Years later when both of their marriages ended, their friendship turned romantic. They began dating in 2004. Maddon told TBO.com he fell for Jaye’s “calm demeanor and self-confidence. She was brainy and beautiful.”
Joe proposed at 1:30 a.m. in the parking lot of Baseline Liquors, a store in Colorado he used to frequent when he played semi-pro baseball for Bauldie Moschetti’s Boulder Collegians. Although it was an unconventional choice, the location was sentimental for Maddon. Moschetti, who passed away in 1994, had owned the store.
Maddon and Jaye wed in 2008, just two weeks after the Rays lost in the World Series.
“She’s got a great laugh. And I can make her laugh, which is very important,” Maddon told TBO.com. “We always have a blast.”
2. Jaye Graduated Law School When She Was 45 Years Old
While balancing motherhood and several jobs, Jaye attended night school to earn her bachelor’s degree. However, she decided she wasn’t yet finished with her education. Jaye began law school at Western State University when she was 41 years old.
She and Maddon began dating when she was in her second year. At the time, Maddon was living in Florida and Jaye was still in California. Although it was tough to balance their hectic schedules, the couple told TBO.com they made a pact to go no longer than two weeks without seeing one another.
In 2006, Maddon missed two Rays’ games to attend Jaye’s graduation from law school.
3. Jaye Owns a Boxing & Fitness Studio in South Tampa
Jaye turned a personal passion for boxing workouts into a business venture: Epic Boxing and Fitness.
The studio features spoxing, a full-body workout that consists of three rounds of spinning and nine rounds of boxing, along with some floor work in between. The idea behind it all came when Maddon experienced a group boxing class in California.
“It was the most fun I had ever had in a group setting, and that was really the trigger,” Maddon said.
She teamed up with boxing instructor Esther Solano to develop that idea into Epic Boxing and Fitness. Solano instructs the classes, while Maddon runs the business side of the operation.
Jaye opened the first location in South Tampa in 2015, and the second in Westchase as 2016 began.
4. She Holds Spoxing Classes at Wrigley Field
Jaye has held spoxing classes at Wrigley Field to raise money for charity.
Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta even took part in one of the workouts.
“It was fun to come out here — it’s not far from where live and we wanted to support Joe and Jaye,” he told MLB.com. “We wanted to support a good cause. [Wednesday’s] event was great and really first class. The venue was incredible, the staff, the people there were tremendous, and today was just something that we are very passionate about, being active and being healthy, so we figured we’d give it a shot. We had a great time.”
The proceeds benefited the Crushers Club of Chicago, which aims to provide youth with an alternative to gangs.
5. Maddon & Jaye Are Dog-Lovers
Maddon and Jaye are the proud parents to two English bulldogs: Winston, and Clementine. Winston even has his own social media accounts.
Jaye explained to the Tampa Bay Times how Winston ended up with his own Twitter account:
I would look out on Twitter, but I didn’t want to join myself. I don’t really like putting out stuff about myself. I don’t think people care about what I’m doing. But then I was seeing a lot of bulldogs and pictures of bulldogs, and they’re comical. They do the funniest things. They just have this cute funny face or this gesture. Sometimes Winston gives me this look like a stink-eye. So I was seeing all these things on Twitter, and I thought I would try it out. I don’t always put a bunch of stuff out there, but I try to capture the funny stuff he does: “I’m torturing my lady owner today.”
When Jaye re-located from California to join Maddon in Tampa Bay, they wanted the animals to go along for the road trip. However, they ran into a problem: they couldn’t find anyone to loan an RV to make the 2,700-mile trek. Their solution was to buy a 30-foot Thor Hurricane. The cross-country road trip turned into a fundraiser for Pet Pal Animal Shelter, a no-kill, non-profit animal facility in St. Petersburg, Fla.