With the Cubbies coming to town there are so many different ways we could go with the stuffed burger this week. We could honor our good friend, the Irish American Baseball Hall of Famer and famed voice of the Cubs, Pat Hughes. We could have gone with his colleague and former Yankee Ron Coomer, or my good pal Mark Gonzales who covers the Cubbies for the Chicago Tribune and with whom I get to spend 4 days in Wyoming every November, could have even honored Cubs GM Theo Epstein who I’ve known since his days at the Red Sox.
One of my fondest memories of Theo is giving him and Joe Castiglione a ride to Kauffman Stadium. He took me on the field before the game and even introduced me to Buck O’Neil (who told me he was Irish). Somehow, I found myself sitting on the bench talking soccer with Nomar and Manny that day.
I have a lot of good connections when it comes to the Cubs, even my good friend John Scott who was a season ticket holder. He hosted me many times at the friendly confines. I remember sitting with him during a game where Sammy Sosa hit 5 balls out of Wrigley; two 2 home runs, two foul ball homers and another that went over the roof.
Everyone of those guys is special to us here at Foley’s, but this week I have decided to honor two men who I’ve known a long time. I know one a lot better than the other, but by honoring these men, we are also donating to the great charity they are both involved with.
This week’s burger is the Respect 90 Burger in honor of Joe Maddon and Rick Vaughn. Joe is obviously the manager of the Chicago Cubs, who I met when he was managing the Rays. He needs no introductions, his accomplishments are well documented. Rick is formerly of the Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays. During his time as head of PR for the Rays, he was considered by his peers to be one of the best. He is also a true gentleman of the game. and little known fact,Rick pitched a perfect game for George Mason in 1976.
Rick is now the Executive Director of Respect 90 Foundation, Joe’s charity.
Respect 90 was founded by Joe and his wife Jaye to provide children and families opportunities to develop championship attitudes through sports, academics and community involvement. One thing Joe and I are on the same page about is the importance of giving back. So, we will donate a portion of the sales of each Respect 90 Burger to the charity.
The Respect 90 reflects where Joe comes from (PA) and his Italian heritage (We were a little disappointed to find out he wasn’t Irish) and so it’s stuffed with Kielbasa and provolone cheese and to replicate Joe's white hair is topped with coleslaw. Unlike his time in Tampa there will be no circus performers involved with this burger. We will not have the servers dress up to serve it and circus animals are not allowed in the kitchen!