Joe Maddon’s love for RV’s, or recreational vehicles, has been well documented since he took over the Cubs in 2015. He rolled into his first Spring Training with the Cubs in a giant RV that he nicknamed “Cousin Eddie” to honor one of the the greatest movie characters in history. In case you’ve never watched any movies ever, Cousin Eddie was a hillbilly relative that appeared in the National Lampoon Vacation movies but is best known for his role in National Lampoon Christmas Vacation. In the movie, Eddie appears unexpectedly to his in-laws house in — you guessed it — an RV.
Here’s Maddon explaining his love for the “Cousin Eddie” moniker.
Maddon and his wife, Jaye, travel the country every off-season in Cousin Eddie to visit friends and family. Hell, if you think about it, the RV was right in the middle of Maddon making his decision to manage the Cubs.
(It’s also one of my favorite Cubs stories.)
In 2015, Maddon had just opted out of his contract with the Tampa Bay Rays and was in talks with 10 other clubs about the possibility of managing them. Maddon’s agent contacted him to let him know that Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer wanted to talk to him about leading the Chicago Cubs.
Sounds great right?
Well, Maddon and his wife were in the early stages of a trip from Florida to Southern California in their RV so Maddon had to find a way to coordinate meeting with Epstein and Hoyer who were in Chicago at the time. So instead of cancelling the trip and flying to meet with Epstein and Hoyer, Maddon looked at a map and told his agent to let Theo and Jed know that he would delay his trip for a “day or two” to allow Epstein and Hoyer to fly down to Florida to talk baseball.
Staying true to the quirkiness of Maddon, when Epstein and Hoyer showed up just outside Pensacola, they had no idea of how wild the meeting would be.
“I gave them a tour of the RV, and we all had a beer,” said Maddon, who was wearing shorts, a T-shirt and sneakers for the occasion. “Those big, thick Miller Lite widemouth bottles. We had some chips and salsa. We stood in the middle of the RV and BS’d. Maybe for half an hour.
“Then we went outside and, seriously, there’s this little microbeach right behind the RV. We had the only beach available in this RV park. It was available to that spot.”
Obviously the meeting was a success and Maddon agreed to coach the Cubs but he left Cousin Eddie at his off-season home in Florida. I mean, can you imagine trying to park an RV in Chicago?
Yesterday, Maddon agreed to be spokesperson for Winnebago Industries, the RV company announced Monday. As part of the agreement, Winnebago presented Maddon with a brand new Winnebago Grand Tour, which contains a master suite, a fireplace and a 60-inch television which he received during Spring Training of this year.
A few days ago, Maddon gave ESPN’s Jessica Mendoza a tour of his new RV during the Cubs series against the Yankees.
It was a good run for Cousin Eddie but it appears the upgrade has already been completed.
Check out Maddon’s new ride (per Chicago Tribune.)