On April 21, 2007 the professional baseball season was well underway. I was not yet the Yankees doctor, but I was spending the morning with a retired Yankee player. I had invited my mentor, teacher, and inventor of Tommy John Surgery, Dr. Frank Jobe to our New York Orthopedic Hospital Alumni Biennial Meeting as our Alan DeForest Smith Lecturer. Our Biennial medical meeting is a gathering or the brightest orthopedic surgeons and alumni of our surgery training program. This year’s meeting was historic with Dr. Jobe scheduled to speak on Tommy John Surgery.
Leading up to the meeting however, Dr. Jobe developed incapacitating back pain from spinal stenosis and required surgery on his own spine. Unable to come to the meeting, and rather than simply cancel, he called Tommy John and asked him if he would fill in. John came to our medical center with tremendous enthusiasm and upon walking into the lecture hall, he expressed how was excited he was to “Pinch Hit” for his friend and surgeon Dr. Frank Jobe.