Bloomberg News

Frank Jobe, Surgeon Who Repaired Pitchers’ Elbows, Dies at 88

March 07, 2014

Frank Jobe

Frank Jobe, an orthopedist who had served in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ organization for the past 50 years, poses for a photograph in this 1990 file photo. Jobe, died yesterday morning in Santa Monica, California, his family announced in a news release on the Dodgers’ website. Photographer: Nancy R. Schiff/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Frank Jobe, whose surgery helped repair pitchers’ elbows and prolonged their baseball careers, has died. He was 88.

Jobe, an orthopedist who had served in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ organization for the past 50 years, died yesterday morning in Santa Monica, California, his family announced in a news release on the Dodgers’ website.

Jobe in 1974 first performed what is now called “Tommy John surgery.” John, a left-handed pitcher for the Dodgers, was diagnosed with a ruptured medial collateral ligament in his left elbow, an injury that until then had no cure. Jobe removed a tendon from John’s forearm to repair the elbow and John went on to pitch 14 more seasons, winning 164 more games without missing a start due to elbow problems.

“Frank Jobe is a Hall of Famer in every sense of the word,” Dodgers President Stan Kasten said in the news release. “His dedication and professionalism in not only helping the Dodgers, but athletes around the world, is unparalleled. He was a medical giant and pioneer.”

Jobe, a native of Greensboro, North Carolina, who studied at the Loma Linda University School of Medicine in California, performed hundreds of Tommy John surgeries on pitchers at all levels of baseball.

“I was deeply saddened to learn of the loss of Dr. Frank Jobe, a great gentleman whose work in baseball revolutionized sports medicine,” MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. “Since 1974, his groundbreaking Tommy John surgery has revitalized countless careers, especially those of our pitchers.”

Survivors include his wife, Beverly, four sons and eight grandchildren.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rob Gloster at rgloster@bloomberg.net


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