Former MLB pitching legend Tommy John was the guest speaker at MLB veteran pitcher Joe Thatcher’s Pitch In For Youth charity dinner on Saturday, November 22 in Kokamo, Indiana. During his speech at the Kokamo Country Club he spoke about his career and and the future of the game of baseball for the youth in the country.
“We’re excited this year to have Tommy John come speak, a four-time All-Star, he’s from Terre Haute so he’s a Hoosier,” said Thatcher. “I talked to him a few times, he’s excited to come back. He played at Highland Park one time when he was in the minor leagues, I believe. He said he hadn’t been here since.”
Tommy John pitched for 26 season in the Major Leagues for the Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, California Angels and Oakland Athletics. When he retired as a Yankee in 1989 he had amassed 288 career victories, which ranks him seventh all-time among left handed pitchers.
He is also known for the surgery that is now named after him, Tommy John Surgery, which revolutionized repairing damaged ligaments in a pitcher’s elbow. Over half of his career wins were logged after his surgery, and today many of the top arms in the big leagues have been able to save their career with the same surgery that saved his.
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Watch Tommy John Speaking about his Years with the Yankees and Dodgers: