Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
Baseball as had many influential people over the years. From Babe Ruth to Ted Williams, Jackie Robinson to Roberto Clemente, they even lowered the pithing mound because of Bob Gibson. There has been a lot of people who changed the game over the years, but one of the most influential person never took the field as a player. Dr. Frank Jobe is the creator of the famous Tommy John surgery that has saved many player’s careers.
I know what you’re thinking, this is a Blue Jays site why are you talking about the former Los Angles Dodgers doctor? I realize that this isn’t specifically about the Jays, but what Frank Jobe did for baseball he should be recognized.
As of the start of 2013, one third of the current pitcher underwent Tommy John surgery. Think about that for a second 33% of all pitchers in the Majors wouldn’t be pitching if it wasn’t for this surgery. That includes pitchers like Stephen Strasburg, Adam Wainwright, C.J. Wilson and Tim Hudson. Countless players has been given a second (or even third) opportunity at playing baseball because of the great mind of Frank Jobe and the determination of Tommy John.
Also, Dr. Jobe took a look at Mariano Rivera‘s elbow in 1992, three years before his major league debut. Can you imagine baseball without the greatest closer of all-time because of a bad ligament? Or that great Atlanta Braves’ pitching staff in the 1990’s without John Smoltz?
Lets go back to the question above about this relating to the Blue Jays for a second. Toronto has experienced so many Tommy John surgeries in the last few seasons that we can call this the Toronto Blue Jays elbow surgery. Drew Hutchison and Kyle Drabek both of whom are fighting for a rotation spot are both coming back from Tommy John surgery. Luis Perez and Sergio Santos both have had the surgery and both are key members of the bullpen. And we know all too well about the patience the Jays have had with right-hander Dustin McGowan.
All I am trying to say is that the Toronto Blue Jays, the baseball world, athletics and the entire human population is grateful for everything Dr. Frank Jobe has done. And for this we say thank you and Rest in Peace.