Tommy John

Tommy John 69 years old today. Younger fans may only be familiar with the name because of one of the most dreaded things a pitcher could hear-that he has to undergo Tommy John surgery. In 1974 it looked as if Tommy John’s career was over. He decided to undergo a revolutionary surgery by Dr. Frank Jobe. Jobe replaced the damaged ligament in John’s left elbow with a tendon from his right forearm. John missed the 1975 season entirely before making his comeback.

Tommy John was a fine pitcher before the surgery- after he came back he won 164 games. He would pitch for 26 seasons. His all time record 288 wins and 231 losses. He was a fine pitcher but not quite a Hall of Famer.

Tommy John had 3 20 game win seasons after his surgery-the only times he won 20 or more.

Tommy John was also involved in one of the strangest moves I’ve seen a manager make. Game 6 of the 1981 World Series. Yankees vs Dodgers. Yankee manager Bob Lemon pinch hit for John with Bobby Mercer with the score 0-0 in the 4th inning. TMercer flew out to left ending the inning. The Yankee bullpen imploded and theDodgers on
won the World Series in 6.

There should be a special place in the Baseball Hall of Fame for contributors-like they do in hockey. Dr. Frank Jobe and Tommy John since the 70’s have saved countless pitching careers. I think they should be honored for their contribution.

One response to “Tommy John

  1. i think what most amazes me these days is that a guy blows out his elbow and everyone says he will have tommy john surgery and he will be back in 12-14 months better than ever. its never questioned just assumed.

Comments are closed.