SBD/March 7, 2014/People and Pop Culture

Frank Jobe, Pioneering Inventor Of Tommy John Surgery, Dies At 88

Jobe saved hundreds of pitching careers by performing the Tommy John surgery
DR. FRANK JOBE, who "made what many consider the most extraordinary medical advance in baseball history" in the summer of '74 with the invention of Tommy John surgery, died Thursday in Santa Monica at the age of 88, according to Valerie J. Nelson of the L.A. TIMES. Jobe "saved hundreds of pitching careers by performing the surgery." DR. JAMES ANDREWS, "a Jobe protégé widely credited with perfecting the Tommy John surgery, has repeatedly called Jobe a founding father of sports medicine who brought treatment for baseball players out of the Dark Ages." Late Angels team physician LEWIS YOCUM in '99 said of Jobe, "The impact he's had on the game can't be measured." The Baseball HOF "honored Jobe last summer" (L.A. TIMES, 3/7). Former Dodgers P TOMMY JOHN, for whom the surgery was named, tweeted, “Today I lost a GREAT friend." The AP's Beth Harris noted the initial surgery and the relationship between John and Jobe last year was the "subject of an ESPN documentary." Jobe had "served the Dodgers’ organization for 50 years, most recently as special adviser to the chairman" (AP, 3/6). SportsNet LA analyst and former MLBer OREL HERSHISER tweeted, "Dr. Jobe may have touched more wins and saves than anyone in baseball. (Jobe) performed and trained countless surgeries and surgeons!” In California, Bill Plunkett notes Jobe "saved Hershiser’s career" in '90 when he "developed a new procedure to reconstruct a damaged rotator cuff." Hershiser "returned to pitch another 10 seasons" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 3/7).
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