by Sam Hieb
NYT obit on Dr. Frank Jobe, who passed away yesterday at age 88:
On a July night in 1974, Dr. Frank Jobe, the orthopedist for the Los Angeles Dodgers, was sitting in the stands at Dodger Stadium watching the ace left-hander Tommy John face the Montreal Expos.
In the third inning, John threw a pair of wild pitches and heard the sound of a “collision” coming from his arm. He had torn an elbow ligament, which almost certainly meant the end of a pitcher’s career.
But Dr. Jobe performed a pioneering operation, transplanting an unneeded tendon from John’s right wrist into his left elbow, where it functioned as a new ligament. John went on to win another 164 games over 14 seasons, retiring from the game at age 46.
Dr. Jobe, who died Thursday in Santa Monica, Calif., at 88, was renowned as the father of Tommy John surgery, a landmark in sports medicine that has been duplicated thousands of times and has saved the careers of numerous athletes, most of them pitchers. His death was announced by the Dodgers.
Dr. Jobe was born in Greensboro, the son of a postman.