TIME Baseball

Doctor Behind ‘Tommy John’ Surgery Dies

Frank Jobe
Mike Groll—AP Dr. Frank Jobe, known for the development of the historic elbow procedure known as “Tommy John surgery,” is honored during a ceremony at Doubleday Field, in Cooperstown, N.Y.

The innovative operation saved countless pitchers' careers

Frank Jobe, the doctor behind the pioneering “Tommy John” surgery that salvaged numerous professional and amateur pitchers’ careers, died this week, reports the Associated Press. He was 88.

In 1974, Jobe was the first physician to successfully complete the ground-breaking surgery on Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Tommy John, which involved transplanting muscle ligaments to repair torn collateral ligaments in the elbow.

The operation revolutionized sports medicine and has since become a common treatment for pitchers, who are predisposed to the injury.

“His wisdom elevated not only the Dodgers, the franchise he served proudly for a half-century, but all of our clubs,” said Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig in a statement. “Dr. Jobe’s expertise, as well as his enthusiasm to mentor his peers, made the national pastime stronger.”


Tap to read full story

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team