Every year, several pitchers, from single-A all the way up through the majors, receive the news that they will have to go through Tommy John surgery. The operation sounds rather simple, but is critical in attempting to save the career of the big hurlers. Essentially, the surgery takes ligament out of the patient's forearm and replaces the torn piece in the elbow, allowing the career of said patient to, hopefully, extend much longer than it would have. Some names that have undergone the near year-long process include A.J. Burnett, Ryan Madson, Jamie Moyer, and, the man whom the surgery was named for, Tommy John himself.
The doctor who discovered the success of such a surgery on John early in his career, Frank Jobe, has reportedly passed this evening. An apparent illness that Jobe had been dealing with eventually took his life. Jobe had served in the Army as a medical staff sergeant during World War II. To date, he has released countless medical publications, but will be most well-respected for his ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction surgery, now known as Tommy John surgery. Frank Jobe was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame just last year, after a petition in his honor was signed and supported by players, front office members, and fans alike. He was 88 years old.