Results tagged ‘ Thanks-Mas ’

Will the Rays Thanksmas Evolve Post Maddon?


It was an event that made spaghetti, pierogies and hand-formed meatballs fashionable at holiday time. Served meals to many who would not have a holiday meal in Pinellas, Hillsborough and Sarasota/Manatee counties. Thanksmas had become more than just a symbol of the season here in Tampa Bay.

B47s7BlCAAATUIyIt was a time for the Rays staff, front office and the community to celebrate after another great season as well as see old familiar faces and new smiles while dining on Hazelton, Pa classics. Sure 4 seasons ago Rays former Manager Joe Maddon inspired and perspired in the first carnation of this event, but as it grew so did the locations, participants and the joyous goodwill and harmony this embodies the holiday season.

But now that Maddon has traded his Carolina blue Rays jersey for Chicago Cubs pinstripes, what is the future of the event?

imagesMaddon is adamant that the holiday event will continue in some form for years to come, but you have to wonder if the Rays might want to have their own face front and center starting with the 2015 event, or maybe even embrace a pairing of Maddon and Cash in a compassionate solidarity towards promoting a holiday harmonious event of giving back to Tampa Bay.

Maddon, who is also a part of Ava’s ownership stake spoke with his Ava partners and they were onboard with the Cub’s new skipper’s idea of bringing hot food and maybe some cold cash into the hands of the area’s homeless and unfortunate as sometimes a little extra money can transform a life on the streets into something amazing and uplifting.

B47pTHYCIAEkrXPLast night former Rays and Tampa native Tino Martinez and current Ray Kevin Kiermaier joined in with Maddon at South Tampa bistro Ava, to help collect $22,000 in donation to this year’s event which also will have some cash assistance and donation to its participants.

Maddon was proud to tell participants at last night’s fundraising gala: “This is the message I wanted to get out to the shelters and people connected with this…This is not going away.”

So we know that Maddon is committed to continuing the seasonal event, but you have to wonder if the Rays might also fashion their own version of “Thanksmas” in the future with Cash holding the golden spatula.

B47ji1ACQAA-P-lThe 2014 Thank-Mas schedule has been announced and Rays front office and team personnel will once again come together to embrace the essence and wonder that is the Thanksmas experience.

Thanks-Mas was a brilliant brainchild of Maddon’s to help the Tampa Bay community. It got people from all walks of life involved and wanting to give back to our community during the holiday season as well as be a great inspirational story for everyone involved.

We truly do not know what will happen in the future for Thanksmas, but we can dream.

B47ji1DCAAAcEGvSalvation Army Tampa area commander Major James Chip Hall probably summed it up best regarding Thankmas when he stated: “It’s important for people here to know they matter. That was the one thing Joe was good at. He told them that they’re not invisible. That they’re not forgotten.”

images (3)Maybe we should tinker the recipe of the event to include a dash of Cash to go along with the present ingredients of a cup of the Rays, an ounce of Maddon combined with a pinch of compassion and pound of giving that has made this event flourish.

That sounds like a perfect recipe for future success of the holiday event not matter what its future name might become.

                                            Here is the 2014 Thanksmas Schedule:

Monday, December 15          Sallie House

Tuesday, December 16          St. Petersburg Salvation Army, Tampa Salvation Army

Wednesday, December 17    Homeless Emergency Project

Thursday, December 18        Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida

Friday, December 19              Bradenton Salvation Army

“Thanks-Mas” is Coming to Rays Fan Fest



Day three of the all charity week will feature a man who right now is on top of his game. There is no doubt that the Third Base Luncheonette in his hometown of Hazelton, Pa will have to provide a “Joe Maddon Special” today, possibly consisting of a large plate full of pierogies and pasta made with the motherly love of Ms Beane.

The object of today’s charity post is of course Tampa Bay Rays Manager Joe Maddon, but not only because it is his birthday, but because he is going to let a choice roomful of Tampa Bay Rays fans also celebrate “Thanks-Mas” during the Rays upcoming Fan Fest (2/19).


maddon_fanfest_300x200.jpgThe holiday tradition will spill allover the Batter’s Eye Restaurant located just above Centerfield as Maddon and the Rays Foundation bring a Spring-time rendition of one of Maddon’s finest charity works. From 1:30 pm until possibly 3:30 pm that day, Maddon and his Rays helpers will deliver plentiful plates full of his trademark holiday fare including homemade spaghetti and meatballs, Italian sausage, pierogies, mixed greens salads assorted desserts and complimentary beverages.

Recipients of this VIP events will also have a chance to ask Maddon some questions during a 1-hour Q and A session, plus all proceeds will benefit the Rays Baseball Foundation and the Salvation Army.

There in timely catch to this event. There will be limited seating, so it is important that you reserve your place at the table today. Pricing for a chance to dine on the same hometown delicacies that Maddon made during his annual Thanks-Mas pilgrimage this Winter. Pricing for the event will start at $ 30 for adults and $ 10 for children under 14. If, by any chance there are still tickets available during Fan Fest, those prices will rise to $ 40 for adults and $ 15 for children.

Fans attending the event will also have a chance at great treausre chest of prizes like a catered Luxury Suite experience during a 2011 Rays game as well as some signed items from Maddon. The Rays have asked that no one pursue autographs from Maddon since he will be signing below in the autograph tables after the event.

This is another great example of one of the Rays high profile personalities giving back to his adopted community, this time in the Spring. .

It is a great chance to witness, eat and hear the inspirational leader of your Rays talk about the upcoming 2011Spring Training and regular season. His love for biking and old muscle cars, or possibly give you an inside glimpse at his mantra for 2011.



I have heard Maddon speak to the Maddon’s Maniacs booster club several times over his Rays years,. Just hearing Maddon talk about the game of baseball, plus the extra bonus of possibly having Maddon answer your question is way beyond the price of admission.

I also have it on great authority (from within the Rays inner sanctum/clubhouse), the man can also produce a pretty awesome meatball and silky smooth pierogie.

Oh! by the way Joe…….Happy 50-ish* Birthday!


Maddon Celebrates his Fifth Thanks-Mas Celebration




It is an event where velocity and speed are measured with sweat and muscle instead of a JUGS gun. It is a combination of the holiday celebrations that within the last five years has been a welcome relief from the cold harsh realities that face this region. The warmth and comfort surrounding the gathering is not only felt from the heat of ovens and stenos but from the laughter and compassion shown by one of the Tampa Bay area’s biggest hearts.

When the temperature begin to dip a bit here in Florida, it is a key signal that it is time again for the mass of Tampa Bay Rays office staff, players, broadcaster and coaches to assemble with their leader, Rays Manager Joe Maddon to begin the joyous holiday tradition of Maddon’s “Thanks-Mas” celebration.

This holiday season, Maddon and his every increasing band of Merry Men and Women will again assemble at the kitchens deep within the confines of Tropicana Field on Monday to begin the preparations on their annual Italian holiday feast of providing hundreds of portions of authentic Maddon inspired classics such as his Mother Beanie’s succulent meatball recipe and home made pierogies.

As usual, Maddon and his crew will prepare, transport and serve the meals to the less fortunate at the Salvation Army locations in Fort Myers (12/14), St. Petersburg (12/15) and Tampa (12/16). Maddon will also expand his journey this year to one more special location when he ventures to the local St. Petersburg Sallie House, on December 13,2010.

The Sallie House is a local St. Petersburg safe haven for children up to the ages of 11 who have been removed from their current homes because of expected abuse, neglect or abandonment. Children may stay at the Sallie House as long as needed – for a few hours or even several months – until they children can be safely reunited with their parents, placed with supportive relatives, or taken into a local foster home or adopted by a loving family.



(Rays Radio Host Dave Willis) Photo: RVaughn/

Doesn’t seem like it has only been five seasons since Maddon came to the Rays as their Manager and instituted this ever increasing holiday fest that has grown in size, importance and is a highly anticipated event by the community and the Rays each Winter. Over the past four celebrations, Maddon and his Rays elfs have helped feed over 3,000 Tampa Bay citizens who might be struggling or displaced by the region’s economic struggles. Each year you can see Maddon enthusiastically orchestrating both the kitchens and the serving area like a conductor on the podium.

This season some of the guests of Thanks-Mas will also be given the gift of a Tampa Bay Rays ” Hoodie” sweatshirt . The clothing item was made famous by Maddon when MLB sent a notice to Maddon following him wearing the royal blue colored hooded sweatshirt during a televised Rays versus Boston Red Sox series at Fenway Park in April 2010. Several later “Hoodie-gate” was resolved and Maddon again was seen on the dugout steps wearing the royal blue pullover hooded sweatshirt during the Chicago White Sox series.




“Thanksmas” can actually be found in the Urban Dictionary as ” a non-religious holiday observed by friends, not family who are unable to be together for either Thanksgiving or Christmas.” What could be more appropriate this time of year than getting together with co-workers celebrating the past years successes and failures along with the invitation of great food.

Maddon take his annual celebration to the next level by doing all of the grocery shopping and visually supervises the cooking firsthand so that the integrity and authenticity of his past holiday memories forged in Hazelton, Pennsylvania can be enjoyed equally by his old and new friends within the Tampa Bay community. I know it is a Rays post season celebration I look forward to every year not for the food and possible gifts, but for the pure joy of giving and sharing with a community Maddon also calls home.