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Dodgers to honor Dr. Frank Jobe09/22/2008 9:30 PM ET
Dodgers public relations
LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers will honor Special Advisor to Dodger Owner and Chairman Frank McCourt, Dr. Frank Jobe, in a pregame on field ceremony tomorrow, September 23. Special guests scheduled to be in attendance are Tommy John, Orel Hershiser, Darren Dreifort, Rick Honeycutt, Ken Howell, and Hong-Chih Kuo, each of whom had his career extended by the work of Dr. Jobe. In addition, Special Advisor to the Chairman and Hall of Fame Manager Tommy Lasorda, former Dodger outfielder Tommy Davis, and former infielder Maury Wills will be on hand for the ceremony.
The pregame ceremony will be emceed by Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully and will include a video tribute and special gift presentation to Dr. Jobe on the field prior to the game.
This Thursday, September 25, will mark the 34th Anniversary of the very first "Tommy John" surgery. Before Dr. Jobe's medical breakthrough in 1974, pitchers who suffered torn elbow ligament injuries were forced into an early retirement, as there was no cure for this injury. Dodger Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax was just one of the countless pitchers whose careers were ended due to this complication. In 1974, Dodger pitcher Tommy John inspired Dr. Jobe's groundbreaking procedure when he was diagnosed with a ruptured UCL - the same injury that had ended Koufax's career.
Prior to the finding, John had won 124 games and held the best record in the National League (13-3) in 1974. Unwilling to retire due to the injury, he asked Dr. Jobe to find a way to get him back in the game. On September 25, 1974, Dr. Jobe performed the new procedure, now known as "Tommy John" surgery. The surgery mended John's injured elbow by removing a tendon from his non-pitching right arm and placing it in the wounded elbow. The three-hour surgery changed baseball and sports medicine forever. John came back to pitch 14 more years during which he won 164 games without ever missing a start due to elbow problems.
Since then, Dr. Jobe has performed about 1,000 Tommy John surgeries on pitchers of every level, helping to resurrect the career of countless big leaguers. In fact, more than 75 active Major League players have had the surgery performed on them. Most recently, the National Football League had its first successful patient undergo "Tommy John" surgery, as Carolina quarterback Jake Delhomme returned to the field in 2008.
Sixteen years after changing the life and career of Tommy John, Dr. Jobe reconstructed the right shoulder of Cy Young Award Winner and pitching legend Orel Hershiser, another breakthrough procedure that had never been successfully performed on a Major League pitcher. He also developed a series of shoulder exercises - known throughout the medical and sports industries as the "Jobe exercises" - that strengthen the rotator cuff and are intended to prevent the need for surgery of the kind Dr. Jobe performed on Hershiser.
Dr. Jobe began working with the Dodgers in 1964 and has served as the club's orthopaedic doctor since 1968. In 1965, Dr. Jobe joined with the first team physician in Los Angeles Dodger history, Dr. Robert Kerlan, to open the Southwestern Orthopaedic Medical Group, which would later be named the Kerlan Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic, in 1985. In 2003, the medical room at Dodgertown in Vero Beach, FL was named after Dr. Jobe.
Dr. Jobe currently serves as a clinical professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Southern California. He was a founding member and past president of the National Baseball Physicians Association and the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons. The American Orthopaedic Society of Sports Medicine named him Mr. Sports Medicine in 1996 and later inducted him into its Hall of Fame.
For more information please contact the Dodgers Public Relations department at 323-224-1301.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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