Baseball Signed by Tommy John and Dr. Frank Jobe, “Tommy John Surgery” Inventor.
Lot 7. Baseball Signed by Tommy John and Dr. Frank Jobe, “Tommy John Surgery” Inventor. Known among surgeons as ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction, the surgery involves replacing a ligament in the elbow with a tendon from another part of the body. In 1974, John became the first professional athlete to undergo the surgery successfully. When Dr. Jobe performed the surgery on John, he estimated the chance of success at 1 in 100. Today, the complete recovery rate is at least 85 percent. After the surgery, John required 18 months of rehabilitation. He returned to the majors in 1976 and pitched for another 13 seasons. He was 46 when he retired in 1989 as one of the most successful left-handed pitchers in major league baseball history. Two times, Dr. Jobe signed a Rawlings Major League Selig baseball that has a Los Angeles Dodgers’ logo on one panel. Dr. Jobe’s signatures are the east and north panels. The former is nm-m 8 to mint 9, and the latter, gem mint 10. John joined the famous surgeon in autographing the north panel. His signature is bold, while slightly smudged. In addition, the south panel has Orel Hershiser’s autograph. Dr. Jobe performed rotator cuff surgery on Hershiser. Another panel has a Tommy John secretarial signature. Dr. Jobe passed away in March. He was closely associated with the Dodgers, serving as a special advisor to Frank McCourt during his time as chairman of the team. Kevin Keating authenticated the autographs, and so did JSA Authentication. The JSA Auction Letter of Authenticity may be exchanged at a discount for a full LoA. This ball is the second of only two that we are aware of from John’s collection. It comes with a signed Property of Thomas Edward John label. Winning Bid $770.