Dr. Frank Jobe, a pioneer in the field of sports medicine who was the first to perform an elbow surgery that resurrected the careers of countless major league pitchers, died. He was 88.
He died Thursday in Santa Monica after being hospitalized recently, according to a Los Angeles Dodgers spokesman.
Jobe performed groundbreaking surgery in September 1974 on Tommy John, who had a ruptured medial collateral ligament in his left elbow. The injury previously had no solution until Jobe removed a tendon from John's forearm and repaired his elbow. John pitched 14 years after the operation without missing a start because of an elbow problem.
"Today I lost a GREAT friend," John tweeted.
Sixteen years after saving John's career, Jobe reconstructed the right shoulder of Orel Hershiser, another procedure that had never been successfully performed on a big league pitcher.
Hershiser tweeted, "He changed my life!! Gave me back my career!! I will miss him and I am eternally grateful!!!"
Jobe served in the Dodgers' organization for 50 years.
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