MLB: Joba Chamberlain leaves Yankees to be with ill father

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Joba Chamberlain
Image: Mets.

American Major League Baseball relief pitcher Joba Chamberlain of the New York Yankees returned a call to his sister after an 8-5 loss to the Boston Red Sox Sunday night. After speaking with his sister who was in Lincoln, Nebraska, he was in tears and being consoled by manager Joe Girardi.

Joba's father, Harlan Chamberlain, 55, collapsed at his home in Lincoln, and is currently at St. Elizabeth Regional Medical Center. Although the exact nature of his collapse is unknown, Harlan, a full-blooded Winnebago Native American, has struggled with post-polio syndrome since childhood. He has been known to be in declining health in recent years.

Still, Harlan was in attendance at Yankee Stadium during the team's Opening Day series this year. He also drove down to Kansas City, only three hours away from Lincoln, when the Yankees visited the Kansas City Royals. He made the same trips last year when Joba made his much-anticipated Major League debut.

When asked about the situation, Girardi only said, "Personal stuff stays in [the clubhouse]."

Joba has been granted leave from the team to be with his father, and will not be with the Yankees at least during their two-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.