Back when he was working as a minor-league coordinator for the Angels organization, current Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon literally closed down The Dock restaurant on the Davenport riverfront.
More precisely, The Dock closed down around Joe Maddon.
Bill Bavasi, then the director of minor league operations for the Angels, was there, too.
In a new book written by Davenport Assumption graduate Rich Wolfe, Bavasi shares his memories of the night in 1988 when crews were literally removing items from the walls and hauling out tables and chairs around a group of coaches including Maddon on The Dock’s final night of business before reopening several months later as The Rusty Pelican.
“Joe Maddon … Hallelujah! We’re Gonna Party Like It’s 1908’’ is the title of the 52nd book written by Wolfe and it includes a number of memories from the time Maddon spent in Davenport, both as a player for the Quad-City Angels in 1976 and later while working as a minor-league coordinator in the Angels organization.
Harry Pells, the general manager of the Midwest League team the year Maddon played in the Quad-Cities, joins the team’s manager Moose Stubing and a number of former teammates in sharing memories of Maddon during his time as a catcher in the Angels organization.
Roommate Dickie Thon recalls Maddon’s cooking skills and Mark Clear shares memories of nights at the Circle Tap and Italian Village. Steve Eddy and others remember Maddon and teammates living at the Hotel Davenport, while Stan Cliburn reflects on Maddon’s skills as a baseball player.
Wolfe, who was born in Lost Nation, Iowa, and graduated from Davenport Assumption in 1960, said he gained an appreciation for how Maddon was “exceptionally mature, kind and inquisitive’’ at a young age as he spoke with people who dealt with the Cubs’ World Series-winning manager throughout his life.
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The 286-page book is filled with memories from people who have been a part of Maddon’s life, from his Pennsylvania roots to his playing days and time spent as a coach, first in the minor leagues and later in the majors.
The book’s dust jacket opens into a two-foot by three-foot poster, a unique twist that Wolfe has included with nine of his books.
Wolfe has authored books focusing on the history of Notre Dame and Iowa football and the St. Louis Cardinals, has also written biographies of Jim Harbaugh, Tom Brady, Bob Knight, Ron Santo, Jim Zabel, Mike Ditka, Harry Caray and Vin Scully among others.
He will host a book-signing event on Thursday from 4-9 p.m. at the Davenport Assumption cafeteria. A free copy of one of his previous Cubs books, “For Cubs Fans Only,’’ will be given to anyone who purchases his Maddon book, which is priced at $29.95, at the event.
“There are some great stories in this book,’’ Wolfe said. “It really gives people an idea of who the man is and what he is about.’’