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(Tampa Bay Rays Manager Joe Maddon rockin’ the LIVESTRONG BowTie)

I can only assume that he said it to himself in some capacity, “I have an idea.”

Our bow ties have been in many different places on many different people. But I never thought an entire Tampa Bay Rays Baseball team would rock / rep many different causes to Boston for their next series (starting today). Very cool.

The idea was unveiled through twitter by the Manager himself, @RaysJoeMaddon.

He thought it would be “cool” for a themed road trip to revolve around bow ties (inspired by Ken Rosenthal) and dressing up as “nerds” (inspired by his granddaughter, Tyler).

When I spoke with him about it, he said the bow tie idea had taken on a different meaning since learning more about BowTie Cause. Yes, he knew that Ken wore the bow ties for different charities, but he didn’t know the depth of the story behind it. He didn’t know the WHY.

But now he does.

He chose to watch the video of why we do what we do, which led to another conversation about one of his “why’s”.

I was assisting with the bow tying process before they left, and that’s when Joe told me about his cause, the Hazelton Integration Project (HIP). Listening to him speak about it made me realize that we’re both trying to do the same thing, which is to bring people together while creating dialogue for a common purpose.

In the short amount of time we shared conversation, you could sense the passion for his work in Hazelton, and then he said quite simply, “think about it and what we might be able to do.”

As we walked out of the club house and down the tunnel to the team bus, it was evident that Joe Maddon was more than an MLB manager. He acknowledged the different Rays employees and shouted out their names as he walked by. The culture of “togetherness” was palpable.

Thirty minutes earlier I had entered the Rays tunnel to tie BowTies and now I was witnessing how everything tied together.

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