Joba Chamberlain opens up about his Nebraska rootsOn Yankees Access special premiering Tuesday, February 19
Yankees Access is a YES Network original series which provides unprecedented behind-the-scenes, off-the-field access to Yankees players. Previous Yankees Access shows have featured Kevin Youkilis, Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson and David Robertson.
The February 19 Joba Chamberlain Yankees Access special features YES' Yankees reporter Meredith Marakovits visiting Chamberlain in his hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska (he also played baseball at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln). Among the highlights:
• Chamberlain takes Marakovits to his childhood home and describes the struggles he, his father and sister endured living there
• Chamberlain says after a period of not speaking with his mother for "about five or six years," he is back on speaking terms with her
• Chamberlain works out at the University of Nebraska
• Chamberlain recalling his attending a University of Nebraska football game in 2007, after his breakout Yankees season, and receiving a rousing welcome from the fans. "I bleed red, obviously, in more ways than one," he says.
• A tour of Chamberlain's home. Viewers will see a framed copy of his Yankees bonus check, among other interesting aspects of his home
• A night at a fundraiser for Dream 62 Foundation, Chamberlain's charitable organization
Joba recalls living in his childhood home:
"I think it was maybe about 800 square feet, it wasn't very big. I slept with my dad, and my sister had the other bedroom. I was happy when she got older and moved out so I could actually have my own bedroom. I mean, I remember the good times, I remember the bad times, I remember when it would rain, we couldn't afford to get our roof fixed, so every time it would rain I would change a bucket in the closet so my dad's clothes wouldn't get ruined."
Joba talks about his dad working at the Nebraska State Penitentiary:
"My dad was so good at being able to turn the switch off when he came home that it never ... I can't recall one time in my life where it carried over. He never came home mad, never came home anything. And I mean, I've been in there, I've heard the stuff that they've (inmates) said, you know, and he always went in with the mindset that, 'I'm gonna treat you with as much respect as you give me. And just because you're in here doesn't mean that you don't deserve respect.'
It would've been pretty easy to take advantage of him, obviously, being paralyzed on his left side and being in a scooter, but I get more compliments from guys when I see them out (of prison) and they see my dad and they tell him their story how they are doing good and that have been clean and everything like that, so it's cool to see those things."
Joba talks about what kind of relationship he has with his mom:
"I didn't talk to my mom for about five or six years. I finally talk to my mom now. She is finally clean and sober and I'm thankful for that. I have a lot to live for and hopefully now she can understand that she has a lot to live for. Now she's back in my life; it's been fun. Like I said, 'It's never too late to grow up and learn.'"