Orthopedic surgeon and Los Angeles Dodgers’ special advisor Frank Jobe passed away today at the age of 88.
Jobe is most known for being the first surgeon to ever perform Tommy John surgery, when he performed the groundbreaking procedure on then-MLB pitcher Tommy John in 1974. He’s been with the Dodgers organization for over 50 years and was named a Special Advisor to the Chairman in 2008.
Together with Dr. Robert Kerlan, the duo formed the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic. Since the initial surgery in 1974, Jobe has performed countless Tommy John surgeries on a variety of players. It has become one of the most common surgeries among baseball players, mostly pitchers, and has now seen pitchers return from the surgery within a year in some cases.
In an official release sent out by the team, president Stan Kasten talked about Jobe’s impact:
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.
Currently, the Dodgers have more than a few pitchers that have undergone the operation and one that’s currently waiting to undergo one in right-hander Ross Stripling. In 2013, Jobe was honored in Cooperstown during Hall of Fame weekend for his development of the surgery. Jobe was honored this year at Southern California Sports Broadcasters’ annual awards luncheon as the recipient of the Presidents’ Award. He received countless awards and honors over his career, and even was part of a pre-game ceremony at Dodger Stadium in 2008, where Tommy John and Orel Hershiser were on hand as two of the more successful pitchers operated on by Jobe.
John, who underwent the inaugural procedure, had this to say about Jobe’s passing:
Baseball lost a great man and Tommy John lost a great friend, said former Dodger Tommy John. There are a lot of pitchers in baseball who should celebrate his life and what he did for the game of baseball. My deepest condolences and prayers go out to Beverly and the entire family. He’s going to be missed.
He’s survived by his wife, four sons and eight grandchildren.
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