Tampa Rays manager Joe Maddon a Hazleton native returned to the Hazleton One Community Center on Thursday for a media conference to help kick off a series of events to promote his Hazleton Integration Project (HIP). The project's mission is to create opportunities for economically disadvantaged children to participate in a variety of no-cost or low-cost educational, cultural, and athletic activities. Last June, HIP opened its Hazleton One Community Center.
Joining Maddon at Thursday's event was his long time friend Luis Tiant a former major league pitcher with the Angels. Yankees, Indians and Red Sox. Tiant was born in Cuba and won 229 games in his career. Friday night nearly 600 people will attend the Celebrity Dinner and auction at Genetti's in Hazle Township-guests include the Philly Phanatic and Larry Bowa., On Saturday night it's the Maddon Family Christmas at the Alice C. Wiltsie Performing Arts Center. Hundreds of talented youngsters will perform.