Tommy John On His Injury, The HOF, And His New Product
Tommy John’s name has become synonymous with the surgery which was first performed on him; his MLB career has very much taken a back seat. I knew he played, but to find out he had 288 career wins over a 26-year career blew me away. He is the winningest (that word was invented by the sports world) pitcher not in the Hall Of Fame. I thought of John when I learned that Nick Adenhart, the Angels’ pitcher tragically killed this past week, had Tommy John surgery when he was only 18-years-old. I thought that was incredibly young for someone to require that procedure considering it’s an operation done because of overuse. It must coincide with the fact young pitchers are throwing year round these days. John joined Mitch in the Morning on KJR in Seattle to discuss the initial surgery he had done on himself, whether or not he belongs in the Hall of Fame, and his new product designed to aid the restoration of joints (for all the elderly folks).
On his injury and what he was told by doctors:
“I tried to pitch. I took four weeks off to rest it, to see if the ligament would heal. Well, it was just exploded, and there was just a mass of fibers in my elbow and it wasn’t gonna heal. Our trainer, Bill Bueller with the Dodgers then, taped my elbow up like you would a sprained ankle to try and keep it from opening up… Finally, I went to Dr. Jobe, ‘This isn’t gonna work.’ He said, ‘Well, here’s the odds. You don’t have to have the surgery, but if you do not have the surgery, you will never pitch Major League Baseball again. Never. I can guarantee you that.”
On the lead up to the first Tommy John procedure done on an elbow:
“It had been done in the hand and wrist. They do a lot of tendon transplants in the hand and wrist. He (doctor) sent me to a hand surgeon, and the hand surgeon examined me and he said, ‘Boy, you’ve done a good job on it, I don’t know…’ I said, ‘If we do have to have (Tommy John surgery) done, what are my odds?’ He said, ‘Not very good.’ He didn’t know. I said ‘50%?’ He said, “No. I would say 10%, less than 5%… I don’t know. It may be two chances in a 100… I don’t know.”Tommy John on if he thinks he belongs in the Hall of Fame and the full interview after the jump.
Does John think he belongs in the Hall?
“Yes, I do. The 26 years, the 288 wins, and the Tommy John surgery. The 26 years, Nolan Ryan pitched 27, the 288 wins, 164 complete games, 162 complete games, whatever it is. But, the surgery tips the scale in favor of Tommy John getting in the Hall Of Fame.”
On his new product, TJ’s Go Flex Joint Formula:
“Your knees start to creak, your ankles hurt, your shoulders, you start to get bursitis and tendinitis in your shoulders. I play a lot of golf and my right shoulder takes a beating on it… Our doctors and our chemists have come up with a formula that you take, it will restore cartilage, it will improve synovial fluid and all the other things that you need to have joint health. They came out with the pill, I tried ‘em, I’ll be 66 in May and I throw batting practice every day… (How often do you take this?) Once a day and there’s a cream that comes with it and the cream you rub it on like if you’re going out to play golf. Let’s say your knee is cranky, you rub it on your knee and it’ll warm that knee up that you can play golf… And, I tell you it works, and it’s all natural products.”