Tommy John: a legend of sports and medicine

On September 25, 1974, Dodgers family physician Surgeon Frank Jobe performed a risky, four-hour operation. The chances were slim, but it was the only chance the patient had to return to baseball.

The technology was new. The doctor had explained to the patient that he would need more than a year to recover and see the results. The patient was Thomas Edward John, known in diamonds as Tommy John. This was a mis-armed pitcher who had pitched for twelve years in the major leagues, and he injured his left arm elbow, and despite undergoing all kinds of treatments, including platelet-rich plasma injections to heal the wound, all he had was nothing. Benefit. It seems his career is over.

With little chance of success, he agreed to go to the operating room for surgery. The trauma was a tear of the medial collateral ligament of the elbow. The doctor removed a tendon from his healthy right forearm and used it to replace the injured ligament, creating holes in the humerus and ulna, attaching it to the two bones. The surgery was successful.

After a long recovery, he returned to the mound on April 16, 1976. They worked great with his fastball and curveball. He's lasted 14 seasons on the mound, meaning he's pitched more seasons already in the running. The tackle he made is the most famous and revolutionary in baseball. John was nicknamed “The Robot”. During his 26-year career, he achieved 288 successes (231 losses).

This surgery is known as the “Tommy John procedure” in his honor and is now common for pitchers to undergo. Shohei Ohtani and Sandy Alcantara, to name a few, have been through it.

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Tommy's true legacy is not in the diamonds, because although he has Hall of Fame numbers, he is remembered for being the first to undergo a never-before-tried surgical intervention, which saved his career and saved the lives of many others. .

The Indiana native doesn't have a special status in Cooperstown, even though he has 164 wins after surgery, which is one fewer than Sandy Koufax had during his entire career. During his eligibility, voters gave him only 31% of the vote in his best year. John Smoltz is the first person to be crowned immortal who performed this surgery. As is always the case, fate chooses an ordinary man to make history in an activity, and become famous for a fact that has nothing to do with the sports field he practices, that is life. Merida, April 2024

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