When people hear the names Joba and Mattingly, we get an array of comments. Some think they are different, unusual names but only a true Yankee fan would know that these names are really not that unusual.
Joba is named after Joba Chamberlain, a current Yankee pitcher who was brought up from the minors in 2007. Mattingly is named after Don Mattingly, a retired Yankee first baseman who played his entire career (14 years) with the Yankees (1982–1995).
You are probably wondering why on earth we decided to name our kids after these players… Here is how it happened…
It is August 15, 2008. Jim, his dad, a few friends, and myself are sitting at a bar across from Yankee Stadium waiting out a rain delay. I am miserable but putting on a game face. I am 14 weeks pregnant and it is no fun watching these boys get loud, drunk, and obnoxious. After a 91 minute rain delay, we make our way inside the stadium to our seats. We have bleacher seats (at least they don’t serve beer in these seats) where the rowdy, obnoxious people watch the games from.
At some point in the game, a vote was taken on if we should name our son* Joba. Not just a vote between our group, but a vote between the entire bleacher sections of Yankee Stadium. It was unanimous. I was in trouble and so was this kid! So the nickname Joba was officially born. At my 17 week prego update, I sent out this to my friends
“Hi everyone! We received huge responses over Jim’s last update.
Everyone seems to dislike the name Joba 🙂
Jim has been calling the baby Joba since the doctors told us we were probably having a boy. It has sorta stuck. I find myself calling the baby Joba at this point, along with a few others 🙂
Just so you know, Joba is the name one of Jim’s favorite pitchers on the Yankees! Although, I will not name the baby Joba, I have a feeling it could be the baby’s nickname for some time!!”
So, that is the story on how Joba became Joba.
Disclaimer – I am not THAT crazy to name my son Joba, I mean what if he grows up to be the president one day! So his real name is James Bryan (just in case) 😉
*2 weeks prior our sonogram tech says she was pretty sure that we were having a boy, but since I was only 12 weeks prego, we should not go and paint the room blue. Well, Jim starting calling my belly Joba.
2 years later Jim and I find ourselves at a crossroads with naming our daughter. We have been tossing J names around thinking we could be the J name family. Janelle, Josephine, Josie, Jade, Jacie-we hated all the choices each other picked out. Again at 12 weeks our sonogram tech said girl, so when we confirmed it at 16 weeks we still did not have a name picked out. We stared to test out names each week but nothing stuck. Since Jim named Joba (see above) it was my turn to name our baby girl. Now it is Week 20 of my pregnancy and I am being admitted to the hospital to find out if my water really did break. We still don’t have a name for her. I am praying for her and don’t have a name to pray for. I end up calling Jim that night from the hospital and telling him I have a name and we need to agree because she needs to be named so people can pray for her. I said “her name is Mattingly”. Jim was in shock. Another Yankee name??? Why not? It is different, it is his favorite Yankee player of all time, and 23 is my favorite number. It was perfect.
So that is the story on how Mattingly became Mattingly.
We will be posting a picture a day for the next week on Hope for Mattie’s facebook page of Mattie sporting all her Yankee attire! Check it out! https://www.facebook.com/HopeForMattie
As Walter Cronkite use to say “And that’s the way it is” !!! I remember when you turned to me that night in Yankee Stadium and said–I use to like you !!!! Two weeks later, you said, HEY, Joba doesn’t sound like such a bad idea ??? All his cousins will love it! But the Mattingly thing, now that is just brilliant—Mattie—-#23 Nonetheless, you have a wonderful family and I’m so happy to be their Pop-Pop! Love you Jess.