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Joe Maddon enlists Tino Martinez, Carlos Pena to help deliver coronavirus message

Two former Rays record public service announcements to help Maddon’s hometown of Hazleton, Pa.
Former Rays manager Joe Maddon watches workouts during spring training at the Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte.
Former Rays manager Joe Maddon watches workouts during spring training at the Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte.
Published Apr. 13, 2020|Updated Apr. 13, 2020

Former Rays manager Joe Maddon enlisted the help of two players with deep Tampa Bay ties to help his hometown of Hazleton, Pa., deal with a concerning spread of the coronavirus.

Former Hazleton mayor Lou Barletta and officials with the state’s health department reached out to Maddon and his Respect 90 Foundation last week, asking if he could help communicate a message about how to stay safe, particularly to the area’s large Hispanic community.

Maddon, now manager of the Angels, and Respect 90 director Rick Vaughn quickly lined up players, including Albert Pujols and former Rays Tino Martinez and Carlos Pena, to record public service announcements in English and Spanish that are being broadcast there.

The players advise residents to stay home if possible, maintain social distancing when in public and wash their hands frequently.

“Our world will come back stronger than ever before,” Pena says in the video, “but we all need to help by caring for yourself, your loved ones, your family and caring for others.”

Pena played for eight teams during a 14-year career but had his greatest success with the Rays from 2007-10. He returned to Tampa Bay in 2012 and eventually retired as a Ray.

Martinez, a Tampa native and resident, played for the Rays in 2004. He spent most of his 16-year career with the Yankees, where he was part of four World Series-winning teams.

Maddon managed the Rays from 2006-2014 before leaving to oversee the Cubs. He still has an offseason home and a restaurant in Tampa.

Wednesday at 4 p.m., he will answer questions and tell stories during a live chat on Facebook hosted by the Tampa Baseball Museum.

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