LOS ANGELES (AP) — Dr. Frank Jobe, a pioneering orthopedic surgeon who was the first to perform an elbow procedure that became known as Tommy John surgery and saved the careers of countless major league pitchers, died Thursday. He was 88.
Jobe died in Santa Monica after being hospitalized recently with an undisclosed illness, according to a spokesman for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Jobe performed groundbreaking elbow surgery on John, a Dodgers pitcher 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 went on to pitch 14 years after the operation on Sept. 25, 1974, compiling 164 more victories without ever missing a start because of an elbow problem.
"Today I lost a GREAT friend," John tweeted.
Last year, the initial surgery and the relationship between John and Jobe was the subject of an ESPN documentary.