Dr. Lewis Yocum, 'Tommy John' surgery specialist, dies at 66

Dr. Lewis Yocum, 'Tommy John' surgery specialist, dies at 66

ANAHEIM, Calif., May 28 (UPI) -- Los Angeles Angels team physician Dr. Lewis Yocum, who helped perfect "Tommy John" ligament replacement surgery, has died, the team said Tuesday. He was 66.

Boston reliever Joel Hanrahan needs surgery, out for season

BOSTON, May 11 (UPI) -- Boston Red Sox pitcher Joel Hanrahan said Saturday he needs surgery to repair a torn flexor muscle and will be out the rest of the season.

Cardinals closer Jason Motte has elbow surgery; is out for season

ST. LOUIS, May 7 (UPI) -- St. Louis Cardinals closer Jason Motte indicated Tuesday he has undergone successful elbow ligament replacement surgery.

Dodgers pitcher Chad Billingsley to undergo elbow surgery

LOS ANGELES, April 23 (UPI) -- Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Chad Billingsley will miss the rest of the season after undergoing elbow surgery, the team announced Tuesday.

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Wainwright signs contract with St. Louis ... Bucknell basketball coach gets contract ... Seim leads European Tour stop in Morocco ... Boxer Guerrero arrested on gun charge ... Sports news from United Press International.
Wainwright signs contract with St. Louis

Wainwright signs contract with St. Louis

JUPITER, Fla., March 28 (UPI) -- Right-handed starting pitcher Adam Wainwright has agreed to a five-year contract with the St. Louis Cardinals, the team said Thursday.
Nationals end ace Strasburg's season

Nationals end ace Strasburg's season

WASHINGTON, Sept. 8 (UPI) -- The Washington Nationals pulled the plug on ace Stephen Strasburg's season earlier than expected, the team announced Saturday.
Ortiz returned to disabled list

Ortiz returned to disabled list

BOSTON, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- Boston put designated hitter David Ortiz on the 15-day disabled list Monday and activated Daisuke Matsuzaka, who then pitched a winning game against Kansas City

MLB: Boston 5, Kansas City 1

BOSTON, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched seven solid innings Monday in guiding the Boston Red Sox to a 5-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals.

MLB: Oakland 4, Minnesota 1

OAKLAND, Calif., Aug. 22 (UPI) -- Brett Anderson was a winner in his first start in more than a year Tuesday and the Oakland A's pulled off a triple play in a 4-1 win over Minnesota.

Red Sox's Crawford to have surgery

BOSTON, Aug. 20 (UPI) -- Boston Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford will have elbow surgery and miss the rest of the season, the team announced Monday.

MLB: Atlanta 7, Miami 1

ATLANTA, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- Kris Medlen took a step forward in his comeback from Tommy John surgery Tuesday, pitching the Atlanta Braves to a 7-1 win over Miami.

Rangers' Feliz to have elbow surgery

ARLINGTON, Texas, July 31 (UPI) -- Texas Rangers pitcher Neftali Feliz will miss the rest of the season after undergoing elbow ligament replacement surgery, the team said Tuesday.

Hudson diagnosed with torn elbow ligament

ATLANTA, June 27 (UPI) -- Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Daniel Hudson has a torn ligament in his pitching elbow, Manager Kirk Gibson said Wednesday.
Braves' Beachy to undergo elbow surgery

Braves' Beachy to undergo elbow surgery

ATLANTA, June 20 (UPI) -- Atlanta Braves pitcher Brandon Beachy will undergo reconstructive elbow surgery and will miss the rest of the season, the team said Wednesday.
Page 2 of 12
Tommy John
Former major league pitcher Tommy John delivers an open air church service on Main Street in Cooperstown, NY on July 31, 2005. (UPI Photo/Bill Greenblatt)

Thomas Edward John Jr. (born May 22, 1943) is a former left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball whose 288 career victories rank as the seventh highest total among left-handers in major league history. He is also known for the revolutionary surgery, now named after him, which was performed on a damaged ligament in his pitching arm.

An outstanding basketball player at Gerstmeyer High School in Terre Haute, where he held the city single game scoring record, John was originally signed by the Cleveland Indians, making his major league debut in 1963. John chose baseball when he realized he had the most talent in it and would not go on to play professional basketball. Of his 26-year major league career, he is best remembered for his seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1970s. He made appearances in the All-Star Game in 1968, 1978, 1979, and 1980. He played in all three Yankees vs. Dodgers World Series of his era (1977, 1978 and 1981), but was on the losing end of all three, having switched over to the Yankees by the time the Dodgers took the Series in 1981. John never played on a major league championship team. John was a soft throwing sinkerball pitcher whose technique resulted in batters hitting numerous ground balls and induced double plays.

In the middle of the 1974 season, John was cruising along with a 13-3 record as the Dodgers were en route to their first National League pennant in eight years, before he permanently damaged the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching arm, leading to a revolutionary surgical operation. This operation, now known as Tommy John surgery, replaced the ligament in the elbow of his pitching arm with a tendon from his right forearm. The surgery was performed by Dr. Frank Jobe on September 25, 1974, and although it seemed unlikely he would ever be able to pitch again, he spent the entire 1975 season in recovery. John would work with team mate and major league pitcher Mike Marshall who was said to know how to help pitchers recover from injuries and taught John a completely different way to pitch where he would not turn his leg and go straight to the plate which eliminated the chance of him hurting his knee and arm, and he returned to the Dodgers in 1976. His 10-10 record that year was considered "miraculous" but John went on to pitch until 1989, winning 164 games after his surgery—one fewer game than all-time great Sandy Koufax won in his entire career. After Phil Niekro's retirement, John spent 1988 and 1989 as the oldest player in the major leagues. In 1989, Tommy John matched Deacon McGuire’s record (since broken) for most seasons played in a Major League Baseball career with 26 seasons played. Today, many pitchers have Tommy John surgery during their careers.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Tommy John."
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