Former MLB pitcher, Tommy John, joins Petros and Money to weigh in on his career, the Tommy John surgery was named after him and more. Tommy John played 26 season in the MLB including seven seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The south paw was a starting pitcher in the league and injured a ligament in his arm in 1974. John talked about the surgery process and how it saved his career.
"Well doctor Jobe told me that I had no chance to pitch and he said but if I do the surgery you have very little chance to pitch. You know I was valedictorian of my high school class and I knew that you have very little chance to pitch is much better than no chance to pitch. And my words to him were that if you know if you do your job I will more than do my job. It wasn't a discussion of doctor Jobe to Tommy John, it was father to son and thats what he just talked to me like I was his son. You know the biggest thing he was worried about, my wife was pregnant with our first child, the surgery was done on the 25th of September, my daughter Tamara was born on the 27th of September. Doctor Jobe wasn't worried about the surgery his worried about if I had the means to support my family down the road and not playing baseball. Thats the kind of man Frank Jobe was. I told him, doctor Jobe if its takes a year, it's a year, if it takes two I'll do two, if it takes three I'll go three. Whatever it takes I will do because I will pitch back in the major leagues again.
Before his surgery, John was a solid pitcher but didn't have an ERA over 3.91 in any season. However after his the surgery, he was named Comeback Player of the Year, tallied 164 wins, posted a 3.34 ERA and finished his career with 2,245 strikeouts. John discussed how him and doctor Frank Jobe gambled on the decision of opting for the surgery.
"He knew that the ligament was torn and he had done a lot of ligament repair and transplants on ankles and feet of polio patients. So he knew the surgery was doable but he never done it in the elbow of a pitcher who was going to be using his arm two three hundred times a day. When he explained all the things my words to him were let's do it, let's do it because I had nothing to lose. I was going to pitch like I was and if he did it and it didn't work then I'd be back home in Indiana working at my buddy's car dealership being a car salesman."
The former 4x All-Star also weighed in on Corey Seagers injury and says that the surgery isn't very common for position players.
"You don't usually get short stops, maybe a catcher might be the next on the line because of him throwing the ball back to the pitcher all time. If you think about a shortstop, I helped my sons college team they needed a pitching coach and couldn't find one so I stepped in for his senior year. He came to me and said dad you know who's got the best arm on the team and I said no who? He said the shortstop. So I brought him in and he threw on the mound and I went holy mackerel. Usually shortstops when you're down in the minor leagues or high school or college, they have very, very strong arms. They have to have strong arms. They took a lot of ground balls and threw a lot of balls across the diamond and you know he just probably was in the wrong position at the right time and threw and torn the ligament."
Listen to the full interview below.
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