The Dodgers’ family lost one of its longest-tenured members on Thursday in Dr. Frank Jobe, who died in his Santa Monica home at the age of 88.
Jobe was a member of the Dodgers’ organization beginning in 1964, and he was also associated — early in his career — with the then Los Angeles Rams and Lakers.
Jobe’s greatest accomplishment came in 1974, when he performed the first ligament replacement surgery for players who blew out their elbows — otherwise known as Tommy John surgery. Sure, someone probably would have come up with this idea sooner or later, but Jobe pioneered this trailblazing procedure that has extended the careers of many a pitcher.
Tommy John was quoted in the Dodgers’ press release:
“‘Baseball lost a great man and Tommy John lost a great friend. 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 (Jobe) and the entire family. He’s going to be missed.'”
From the Dodgers’ official press release:
“‘Frank Jobe is a Hall of Famer in every sense of the word,’ said Dodger President Stan Kasten. ‘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.'”
Damn right, Stan. I mean, how is the inventor of the TJ procedure not in the Hall of Fame? He’s done more for the game than plenty of the people — players and otherwise — who have been inducted.
Jobe is survived by his wife Beverly, his four sons and their spouses, and eight grandchildren. Rest in peace, Dr. Jobe. Baseball wouldn’t be what it is today without your brilliance and innovation.