Hazleton roots for hometown manager

HAZLETON, Pa. - October 22, 2008 It's probably a safe bet that nearly every community in eastern Pennsylvania is red with excitement for the Phillies, but there is one town in Luzerne County that is clearly Tampa Bay Rays blue.

People in the town of Hazleton are rooting for the Rays because of Rays' manager Joe Maddon, who was born and raised there.

He says this is where he learned the virtues of respect and hard work.

"That's the one thing that's pounded into you between a Polish mother and an Italian father and nuns through the eight grade, you definitely earn respect at an early age," Maddon said.

Joe's 75-year-old mother Albina, better known as Beanie, still works at the luncheonette where she's been an employee since she was 15-years-old.

Beanie has little sympathy for Philadelphia fans who are pining for a championship.

The many people around here who personally know and love the Rays' skipper say Joe are rooting him in.

"I've coached in little league years ago and Joe came and did clinics during the All-Star break," Mike Segiila of Hazleton said.

"The whole town is just buzzing because Joe and the whole family are such great people," Richard Molinaro of Hazleton said.

Beanie is, not surprisingly, picking the Rays' to win the series.

Most of the people Action News spoke with admit if Joe wasn't managing the Rays, they'd be rooting for the Phillies.

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