Since his rise to fame last year, Joba Chamberlain's personal story is something of minor legend. Raised largely by his father, who suffered through polio and a variety of other obstacles, Joba's tale is one of the power of the fathers and sons to thrive under adversity. Thanks to his fastball, Joba's famous and soon-to-be-rich, and Gary Smith, Sports Illustrated's legendary profile-writer, chronicled the whole thing last year.
Missing in that story is what happened to Joba's mother. Colleen Kenney of the Lincoln Journal Star found Jackie Standley -- a former drug and alcohol addict -- and the resulting story is pretty unsettling:
The reporter Googles "Joba Chamberlain," and they figure out together that what she'd read online was a Wikipedia entry, one that got other facts wrong, too. But then they read other profiles of him from major newspaper sites, and most of them repeat the story that Harlan raised Joba alone. "My heart is pounding in my chest, dude. I don't need it. This is worse than drugs. This is going to give me a heart attack. No. I wasn't the greatest mother. But in the bad choices I made, I in turn made good choices. And one was for them to be with their dad a lot."
She wants them to give her yet another chance.
The end result is a portrait of a woman who seems both loving (she has a shrine to her son with both clippings and personal artifacts) and deeply disturbed (she furiously dials reporters to correct errors on Wikipedia, for example). It seems clear why Joba probably doesn't want much to do with her. But it's sad all the same.