News

Pioneering ‘Tommy John’ surgeon dead at 88

Pioneering ‘Tommy John’ surgeon dead at 88

PIONEER: In 1974, orthopedic surgeon Frank Jobe transplanted a tendon to replace a torn left elbow ligament of Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Tommy John. The groundbreaking surgery was successful and John's subsequent comeback lasted 14 years, setting such a precedent for future patients that the surgery bears his name. Photo: Associated Press

(Reuters) – Dr. Frank Jobe, who pioneered the ‘Tommy John’ elbow surgery that has prolonged the careers of athletes in a variety of sports, particularly baseball, has died at the age of 88.

In 1974, orthopedic surgeon Jobe transplanted a tendon to replace a torn left elbow ligament of Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Tommy John.

The groundbreaking surgery was successful and John’s subsequent comeback lasted 14 years, setting such a precedent for future patients that the surgery bears his name.

PHOTOS: 2014 Notable Deaths

“He pitched a great game,” tweeted John. “He was a great surgeon but a better person. Many pitchers owe their lives to Dr. Frank Jobe.”

Dodgers President Stan Kasten was among those to pay tribute: “Frank Jobe is a Hall of Famer in every sense of the word.

“His dedication and professionalism in not only helping the Dodgers, but athletes around the world is unparalleled.

“He was a medical giant and pioneer and many athletes in the past and the future can always thank Frank for finding a way to continue their careers.”

A.J. Burnett, Kerry Wood, John Smoltz, Joe Nathan and Stephen Strasburg are among the pitchers who have undergone the surgery.

(Reporting By Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

Recent Headlines

in Sports

This week’s top sports shots

little

A look at the biggest stories and best photography in sports this week.

in Sports

This weekend’s sports schedule

yankees

A complete look at this weekend's sports schedule.

in National

Making headlines this week

surf

A look at the week's biggest newsmakers and the stories you won't soon forget.

in National

WATCH: The history of Labor Day

21-overlay4

While you take your three day weekend, remember those who struggled to get Friday and Saturday off.

in Sports

Tony Stewart returns to NASCAR racing after fatal accident

Tony Stewart smiles as he speaks with his crew before the start of the rain delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 race at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida, February 27, 2012.

Tony Stewart will return to racing this weekend at the Atlanta Motor Speedway for the first time since he struck and killed a young racer at a dirt track earlier this month.