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40 Years Of New Elbows

by Tom King

Tommy John turns 71 today. The surgery that bears his name is 40 years old this year. As more and more players undergo the procedure without a second thought its interesting to remember that it wasnt always that way. John was 10 years into a major league career and had amssed 124 wins on the mound when he blew out his elbow in 1974. For most pitchers at that time it would have been a career ending injury...but Dr. Frank Jobe convinced him to try and new procedure that had never been done before. Without it John was done...with it Dr. Jobe said the chances of him pitching again were under 50-50. Those were better odds that facing hank Aaron with the game on the line. He took it. After sitting out the 1973 season to recover John was able to resume his career and pitch for 13 more years amassing 192 more wins for a total of 288. It was called miraculous at the time. Now it's almost commonplace with even high schoolers undergoing the procedure. He never made the Hall Of Fame but you can certainly make the case that his decision to try the experimental surgery and his comeback from it revolutionized the game forever...and if that isnt Hall Of Fame worthy...what is?

Nice win for the Brewers last night...Kyle Lohse gave the bullpen a rest and Mark Reynolds continues to make his signing in the off-season look good. Ryan Braun continues to scuffle...is it the thumb still giving him problems or something more ominous?

We will have a triple header of high school baseball today on Foxsports AM1390 & FM 93.9...first up is DC Everest at Wausau West and that will be followed by Wausau East playing a doubleheader at Merrill.

Songs Of The Day (from my I-pod)

Nautical Wheelers-Jimmy Buffett (1974) an early Buffett classic about life in Key West

Nebraska-Bruce Springsteen (1982) leave it to the Boss to release this somber collection of acoustic demos as an actual album...at the time I didnt know what to think but it has certainly grown on me over the years