April 29, 2010

Tommy John

Tommy John is famous.

He won 288 games in his major league career, but he's known for something else.

In 1974, he was cruising along with a 13-3 record, when he damaged a ligament in his arm.

He underwent revolutionary surgery, wherein Dr. Frank Jobe replaced the ligament in the elbow of his pitching arm with a tendon from his right forearm. The surgery was completed on September 25, 1974, and although it seemed unlikely he would ever be able to pitch again, he spent the entire '75 season in recovery and returned to the Dodgers in '76.

Although he had been in the majors for 10 years prior to the surgery, he would spend another 13 years in the Show — and actually had a better run during the "second" career.

John is not in the Hall of Fame. He has the most wins of any lefthander not in the HOF.

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