Frank Jobe
1925 - 2014
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Dr. Frank Jobe, a pioneering orthopedic surgeon who was the first to perform an elbow procedure that became known as Tommy John surgery and saved the careers of countless major league pitchers, died Thursday. He was 88.

Jobe died in Santa Monica after being hospitalized recently with an undisclosed illness, according to a spokesman for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Jobe performed groundbreaking elbow surgery on John, a Dodgers pitcher who had a ruptured medial collateral ligament in his left elbow. The injury previously had no solution until Jobe removed a tendon from John's forearm and repaired his elbow. John went on to pitch 14 years after the operation on Sept. 25, 1974, compiling 164 more victories without ever missing a start because of an elbow problem.

"Today I lost a GREAT friend," John tweeted.

Last year, the initial surgery and the relationship between John and Jobe was the subject of an ESPN documentary.

"When he did come back, I thought maybe we could do it on somebody else," Jobe told The Associated Press in 2010. "I waited two years to try it on somebody else, but we had no idea we could do it again."

Jobe initially estimated John's chances of returning to the majors at less than 5 percent. He later said 92 to 95 percent of patients return as good, if not better, than before the surgery.

The surgery has since become common practice for pitchers and players at every level of baseball, including New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey, Washington star Stephen Strasburg, Milwaukee's Tim Hudson and Minnesota's Francisco Liriano.

Some pitchers have signed multiyear contracts just months after they have the surgery in expectation of a high-level return.

Typically, full rehabilitation takes about a year for pitchers and about six months for position players. The procedure initially required four hours; now it takes about an hour.

"I had no idea it would do this," Jobe told the AP. "It startles me even today that it has done that. The doctors are recognizing the condition early enough to fix it and they are learning how to do the surgery so well. They rehab it so not just the arm, but the whole body gets better."

Jobe believed the advancements would continue.

"You never want to say in medicine this is the end. You're always coming up with something a little bit different," he said. "Even with Tommy John, there's people doing things slightly different. In their minds they're getting better."

Jobe had served the Dodgers' organization for 50 years, most recently as special adviser to the chairman. The courtly Southerner attended the team's games as recently as last season, with someone on either arm escorting him.

Sixteen years after saving John's career, Jobe reconstructed the right shoulder of former Cy Young Award winner Orel Hershiser, another procedure that had never been successfully performed on a major league pitcher.

"He change my life!! Gave me back my career!!" tweeted Hershiser, a former Dodgers great. "I will miss him and I am eternally grateful!!!"

Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig saluted Jobe for revolutionizing sports medicine.

"His wisdom elevated not only the Dodgers, the franchise he served proudly for a half-century, but all of our clubs," Selig said in a statement. "Dr. Jobe's expertise, as well as his enthusiasm to mentor his peers, made the national pastime stronger."

Since 1974, Jobe had performed hundreds of Tommy John surgeries on pitchers. Jobe co-founded the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic along with the late Dr. Robert Kerlan in 1965. They supervised the medical treatment for the Dodgers and Angels, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Rams, the Los Angeles Kings, and Anaheim Ducks, as well as other pro and amateur athletes around the country.

"His dedication and professionalism in not only helping the Dodgers, but athletes around the world is unparalleled," Dodgers president Stan Kasten said. "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."

Jobe had also been the orthopedic consultant for the PGA Tour for more than 25 years.

Last July, the Baseball Hall of Fame honored Jobe during its induction weekend in Cooperstown, N.Y., with John in attendance.

Born in Greensboro, N.C., in 1925, Jobe joined Army at 18 and served as a medical staff sergeant in the Army's 101st Airborne Division during World War II.

After the war, Jobe completed his undergraduate degree at La Sierra University and went on to attend medical school at Loma Linda University. After serving a residency at Los Angeles County Hospital, Jobe teamed with Kerlan to specialize in the new field of sports medicine.

Jobe is survived by wife Beverly, sons Christopher, Meredith, Cameron and Blair, and eight grandchildren.

The family said plans for a memorial were pending.


BETH HARRIS, AP Sports Writer

Copyright © 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Published in New Haven Register on Mar. 7, 2014.
Memories & Condolences
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31 entries
November 23, 2016
Valenda Newell
June 23, 2014
We would like offer our condolences and sympathy to the family, friends and fans of Dr. Frank Jobe.

Dr.Jobe played a BIG part in the history of Major League Baseball (MLB) with his history making "Tommy John" surgery.

His technique extended the careers of many, many baseball players.

Rest In Peace (RIP) !!!
March 17, 2014
Meredith and I were close friends in High School. I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Jobe once and still remember his gentle yet enveloping personality. It is a sad loss when one so accomplished and giving leaves us.
Randall Hull
March 16, 2014
I was privileged to meet Dr. Jobe at an event for one of the schools where he was educated. He was a fine man as well as a stellar physician. I join those who express condolences for his loss to his son and daughter-in-law, Meredith and Carol, whom I know; and to his other family and friends, of which there are many. May he R.I.P.
David Wheeler
March 16, 2014
As a totally satisfied patient of Dr. Jobe's artistry, I thank him and hold him and the family close to my heart.
Douglas Neslund
March 16, 2014
Meredith was one of my classmates, and I use to work with Dr. Chris Jobe in surgery. I never met Dr. F. Jobe. But as a baseball fan, I thank him for saving so many baseball careers, and a BIG 'thank you' for his service to this country, and I know he was a great man. So to Mrs. Jobe and all the family, I send my thoughts and prayers. Because of the wonderful Grace of God, I know he is in Heaven now, and you will all be reunited one day. God bless.
Lori Mallory Eckhart
March 14, 2014
Frank was our dearest friend. Whether in LA. , Paris or at Dodger Stadium it was always fun just to be with the Jobes. We will miss his gentle and thoughtful demeanor and the many kind things he did for us, particularly his friendship Joan & Marco
Marco and Joan Weiss
March 13, 2014
Dr. Jobe was a true gentleman. He'll be missed by many of his friends who had the pleasure to know him. Robert Allen, L A Dodgers Press Box attendant.
March 12, 2014
condolence to the family.happy are those who mourn,since they will be
March 12, 2014
I am Dodgers, Kings, Rams, Lakers, Angels Ducks and UCLA Fan
Richard Herrick
March 10, 2014
My Grandfather Carter Cannon met Dr Jobe right out of medical school. They were very close friends until my grandfather died in 77. He ran Cannons Pharmacy in Westchester. Dr Jobe remained a good friend to our family over the years. May God bless you.
March 10, 2014
Mrs. Jobe and Family

So sorry to hear about the loss of Mr. Jobe. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. Cherish his precious memories. May the God who gives peace be with all of you-RO.15:33
March 9, 2014
While we are sad to witness te loss of such a talented and humble man, he will not be forgotten. He made some incredible contributions to medicine and touched many lives as a result. If only for this, the words that a wise man once penned ring true, that "A good name is better than good oil, and the day of death is better than the day of birth." May he be remembered for who he was and all that he accomplished.
March 8, 2014
Having worked at the Kerlan-Jobe clinic and Loma Linda University for Dr. Christopher Jobe, I am deeply saddened. While attending Orthopaedic Technology School, I did my research project on Tommy John surgery, (as Tommy was my favorite Dodger growing up, and Dr. Jobe was my hero for saving his career). Dr. Jobe was more than kind enough to let me interview him on more than one occasion as my main source for my paper. When I got a perfect score, I brought Dr. Jobe a gift and when I took it to him, he was also kind enough to autograph a baseball for me, it is my most prized possessions. Thank You Dr. Jobe, and thank you Dr. Christopher Jobe, for inspiring me to be the best Orthopaedic Technologist I can be!!!! My sincerest and deepest condolences to the family, we have lost a true hero. Roy Capriulo OT-C.
Roy Capriulo
March 8, 2014
Please accept my condolences for your loss may these words bring comfort for the whole family at 1Corrinth 15:54 which says that death is swallow up forever I HOPE THESE promise of GOD WILL BRING the family a hope for the future and a calm heart. TINA LOS Angeles
tina morgan
March 8, 2014
My heartfelt condolences to the family. May we patiently await God's Kingdom to bring everlasting blessings. Matthew 6:9,10
March 8, 2014
May God grant Mr. Jobe family and friends comfort during this time of sorrow. Psalm 68:20
Maleda Scott
March 8, 2014
I am saddened to hear of the passing of Dr. Jobe, but refreshed by his life story. There are many things we can learn from him.
His own words reflect humility, in that he was surprised that his procedure would work. And his care was for his patients and others because he was willing to share the insights that he learned with other doctors.
I am sure his procedures had further applications than sports and are helping people worldwide to have a better quality of life.
His successes prove the truth of Psalm 139:14: "in an awe-inspiring way I am wonderfully made".
May God's peace and everlasting strength be with his family at this time of sorrow.
March 8, 2014
Dear family, please accept my condolences for the loss of your loved one, may you all find comfort by drawing close to God. James 4:8
March 8, 2014
Truly sorry for your loss,may God give comfort in these difficult times .
John 5:28
March 8, 2014
Dear family and friends we offer our heartfelt condolences.Take comfort in God's wonderful promise to reunite us with our loved ones on a Paradise earth.
March 7, 2014
Dear Beverly and family: Please accept our deepest sympathy in the deathof Dr. Jobe from our family and on behalf of the 326th Medical Unit of which he was a part in WWII. We valued getting to know him at the Veterans Reunions and especially the one which was hosted by the two of you. Our prayers are with you and the family. Juanita Query Coldiorn.
March 7, 2014
A great loss to any one who cared about the game of baseball
gene fortner
March 7, 2014
I remember Dr. Jobe as the team Doc when one of my closet friends, the late Glenn Burke was an outfielder on the Dodgers.
Anthony Fagans
March 7, 2014
March 7, 2014
michelle plakas-kaiser
March 7, 2014
I am deeply saddened by the death of Frank Jobe. May the God of all comfort be with the Jobe family during this difficult time as they mourn their loss. America and the Baseball Sport will forever be indebted to Dr. Jobe for saving so many careers. He will be dearly missed.
March 7, 2014
Well done good Doctor. Well done.
Harry Simpson
March 7, 2014
Most baseball gen mgr's rather trade for
a pitcher who has already had the T. J.
John had one less win after the TJ than
Koufax had entire career. Never missed
a start either. But considered to have a bionic arm, reason no HoF 288 wins.
Take nada away from F Jobe, thanks for
Vic Bullock
March 7, 2014
My sincere condolences to the families of Mr. Jobe
March 7, 2014
The world of baseball and medicine lost one heck of a great man. RIP Frank.
David Crowe
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