Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon, without question the best manager in baseball turns 63 today. Maddon has been a baseball lifer. Not much of a ballplayer, he didn’t advance past A ball. His career reminds me a lot of former manager Jim Leyland’s- neither had anything handed to them and they both worked their way up the latter to get a chance at managing.

Maddon spent 31 years in the Angels organization holding many positions- minor league manager, scout, roving minor league hitting instructor, a coach on the Angels and served as interim manger on three different occasions. He finally got his first chance to manage in 2006 when Tampa Bay hired him. Maddon did a great job with the Devil Rays, a team that hasn’t been big spenders and over the years have traded star players due to high contracts. In 2008 Maddon led the Rays to their only World Series, they would lose to the Phillies.  Maddon won the AL Manager of the Year Award in 2008 and 2011 as the Rays manager.

Joe Maddon left for the Cubs in 2015 and won the NL Manager of the Year Award that season, leading the Cubs to the playoffs. In 2016 the Cubs won the World Series for the first time since the 1908 season.