Tommy John surgery pioneer Dr. Frank Jobe dies at 88

Former major league pitcher Tommy John, for whom the career-saving elbow surgery was named in 1974, wrote a short message explaining what Dr. Frank Jobe meant to him and he put it on his website Friday morning. Jobe died Thursday at 88 years old. He recently had been hospitalized with an undisclosed illness.
David Brown

Frank Jobe

A portrait of sports doctor Frank Jobe in 1990 leaning on a stack of medical texts, while holding an autographed baseball next to a jar of baseballs. (Photo by Nancy R. Schiff/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Dr. Frank Jobe watches as Bob Waller winds up and delivers a pitch with sensors attached to his body in a demonstration at the biomechanics laboratory at Centinela Hospital Medical Center in Inglewood, Calif., Wednesday, June 24, 1998. Computers, seen in foreground, record data generated while Waller actually goes through the motions of pitching. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Dr. Frank Jobe watches as Bob Waller winds up and delivers a pitch with sensors attached to his body in a demonstration at the biomechanics laboratory at Centinela Hospital Medical Center in Inglewood, Calif., Wednesday, June 24, 1998. Computers, seen in foreground, record data generated while Waller actually goes through the motions of pitching. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Dr. Frank Jobe, right, known for the development of the historic elbow procedure known as “Tommy John Surgery,” speaks during a news conference as Tommy John, left, listens, on Saturday, July 27, 2013, in Cooperstown, N.Y. Jobe and John will be recognized for the procedure during an awards ceremony on Saturday afternoon. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

Dr. Frank Jobe, right, known for the development of the historic elbow procedure known as “Tommy John Surgery,” speaks during a news conference as Tommy John, left, listens, on Saturday, July 27, 2013, in Cooperstown, N.Y. Jobe and John will be recognized for the procedure during an awards ceremony on Saturday afternoon. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

Los Angeles Dodgers team physician Dr. Frank Jobe, who performed the surgery on Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Hideo Nomo, explains the arthroscopic surgery procedure in which he successfully removed four calcium deposits from Nomo's right elbow, Tuesday, Oct. 10, 1997 at the Centinela Hospital Medical Center in Inglewood, Calif. Nomo was to stay overnight Tuesday at Centinela Hospital Medical center for observation. (AP Photo/ho)

Los Angeles Dodgers team physician Dr. Frank Jobe, who performed the surgery on Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Hideo Nomo, explains the arthroscopic surgery procedure in which he successfully removed four calcium deposits from Nomo's right elbow, Tuesday, Oct. 10, 1997 at the Centinela Hospital Medical Center in Inglewood, Calif. Nomo was to stay overnight Tuesday at Centinela Hospital Medical center for observation. (AP Photo/ho)

In a Saturday, July 27, 2013 file photo, Dr. Frank Jobe, known for the development of the historic elbow procedure known as "Tommy John Surgery," speaks as he is honored during a ceremony at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown, N.Y. Jobe, a pioneer in the field of sports medicine, died Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014 in Santa Monica after being hospitalized recently with an undisclosed illness, according to a spokesman for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was 88

FILE - In a Saturday, July 27, 2013 file photo, Dr. Frank Jobe, known for the development of the historic elbow procedure known as "Tommy John Surgery," speaks as he is honored during a ceremony at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown, N.Y. Jobe, a pioneer in the field of sports medicine, died Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014 in Santa Monica after being hospitalized recently with an undisclosed illness, according to a spokesman for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was 88. (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)

In a Saturday, July 27, 2013 file photo, Dr. Frank Jobe, known for the development of the historic elbow procedure known as "Tommy John surgery," is honored during a ceremony at Doubleday Field, in Cooperstown, N.Y. Jobe, a pioneer in the field of sports medicine, died Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014 in Santa Monica after being hospitalized recently with an undisclosed illness, according to a spokesman for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was 88

FILE - In a Saturday, July 27, 2013 file photo, Dr. Frank Jobe, known for the development of the historic elbow procedure known as "Tommy John surgery," is honored during a ceremony at Doubleday Field, in Cooperstown, N.Y. Jobe, a pioneer in the field of sports medicine, died Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014 in Santa Monica after being hospitalized recently with an undisclosed illness, according to a spokesman for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was 88. (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)

El doctor Frank Jobe (derecha), conocido por practicar una revolucionaria cirugía que permitió al lanzador Tommy John (izquierda) reponerse de una lesión, ingresó este sábado al Salón de la Fama de Cooperstown, N.Y. (Foto AP /Mike Groll)