The most infamous name

Kenny Schultz


Imagine how bad it would be to have the most common arm injury in baseball history named after you. For Tommy John, that is what has happened.

Born on May 22, 1943,  John is a retired professional baseball pitcher who played 26 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) between 1963 and 1989.

John was a soft throwing sinker ball pitcher with a flawless technique which resulted in numerous ground balls and double plays.

In the 1974 season, he performed well, recording a 13-3 record as the Dodgers were on their way to their first National League pennant in eight years, before he permanently damaged the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching arm.

His injury led to a revolutionary surgical operation, which is now known as Tommy John surgery.

After his surgery, it seemed as he would never be able to pitch again, as he spent the entire 1975 season in recovery.

John worked with a teammate and pitcher Mike Marshall, who was said to know how to help pitchers recover from injuries, taught John a completely different way to pitch and he returned to the Dodgers in 1976.

His 10-10 record was “miraculous” but that wasn’t the best part as after being the guinea pig for the brand-new procedure, John went on to win 164 games after returning and finished his career with 288 wins.

In 1986, Mark McGwire got two hits off of him. McGwire’s father was John’s dentist and John said, “When your dentist’s kid starts hitting you, it’s time to retire!”

John went on to pitch three more seasons.

In 2009, in his 15th and final year of eligibility for election into the Baseball Hall of Fame John only received 31.7 percent of the vote and he needed at least 75 percent in order to be elected.

It’s a shame he isn’t in the Hall of Fame because of how he helped pave the way for players in today’s game.