October 30, 2005

A vote I don't have

The Curmudgeon casts his votes for the Baseball Hall of Fame. Here's mine: Doctor Frank Jobe. Who, you say? The guy who invented "Tommy John" surgery, thus giving new hope to countless pitchers and even some position players who previously would have had to retire with arm injuries.

What's the injury? The ulnar collateral ligament either stretches or snaps, reducing the arm's ability to throw overhand. Where's that ligament? Within the elbow joint. (The ulnar nerve is what's jarred when you bash your "funny bone".)

What's actually done? The palmaris longus tendon is removed from the patient's forearm; after the damaged ligament has been removed, the tendon is inserted through holes drilled into the elbow bone. Over time, for reasons no one yet understands, the tendon begins to act as a ligament.

Without that surgery, a whole lot of athletes, both professional and amateur, would never have been able to continue to compete in their sport. Thus my vote for induction into the Pioneer or Executive wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame (not that I have one) goes to Dr. Frank Jobe.

Posted by Linkmeister at October 30, 2005 11:53 AM | TrackBack

I'll second that nomination!

Posted by: Curmudgeon at October 30, 2005 12:28 PM

Until Marvin Miller -- unquestionably the most important and influential person in MLB in the last 1/3 of the 20th century -- goes into the HOF as a pioneer/executive/miscellaneous, no one is worthy of a plaque.

That said, Dr. Jobe deserves a great deal of credit for the careers of a great number of splendid pitchers.

Posted by: N in Seattle at October 31, 2005 02:59 PM

Damn, I'd forgotten Miller wasn't in there.

Posted by: Linkmeister at October 31, 2005 03:11 PM

Totally agree on Miller, and Jobe deserves the credit too.

Posted by: The Heretik at October 31, 2005 08:49 PM