When Cubs manager Joe Maddon thinks about regrets on days like Monday, it’s not about the time he chose to pitch to Paul Goldschmidt in that loss at Arizona last month or the time(s) he let Rick Sutcliffe talk him into one more.
“The one regret I have in my own personal life is the fact that I never did serve [in the military],” Maddon said before the Cubs’ Memorial Day game against the Dodgers on Monday.
Maddon, whose father, Joe Sr., and uncles served in World War II, went straight from high school to the football and baseball teams at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania.
“At the time it was very unpopular, the Vietnam War was going on, and I was in college,” he said. “And at the time you really thought you were very fortunate to not have to do that. But retrospectively that’d be the one life experience that I missed out on that I’d wish I’d had.”
His dad, who saw combat in Europe and didn’t talk about that part of the experience, say family members, was happy to see him play football instead.
“My grandparents had four or five at the same time in World War II. That’s just kind of nuts to think about,” said Maddon, who listened to Memorial Day tributes on the radio on the way to the ballpark Monday.
“The fact that they did that we’re all very fortunate,” he said. “I’m driving down Clark Street, and I’m watching everybody having a good time because people did that before us.”