Dr. Frank Jobe dies at 88

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The pioneering surgeon was affiliated with the Dodgers for five decades.

LOS ANGELES -- Longtime Dodgers team physician and one of the most influential non-players in baseball history, Dr. Frank Jobe, died Thursday morning in Santa Monica, his family announced. Jobe was 88.

Jobe was associated with the Dodgers since 1964, and has been a special adviser to the chairman since 2008.

"Frank Jobe is a Hall of Famer in every sense of the word," said team president Stan Kasten in a release. "His dedication and professionalism in not only helping the Dodgers, but athletes around the world is unparalleled. 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."

He is most well known for his pioneering procedure on then-Dodgers pitcher Tommy John, who tore his MCL in his left elbow in 1974. Jobe replaced the ligament with a tendon from John's forearm. After suffering an injury for which there was previously no cure, John pitched 14 more seasons, pitched 2,544⅔ more innings and won 164 more games.

"Baseball lost a great man and Tommy John lost a great friend," said John. "There are a lot of pitchers in baseball who should celebrate his life and what he did for the game of baseball. My deepest condolences and prayers go out to Beverly and the entire family. He’s going to be missed."

Jobe himself performed hundreds of Tommy John surgeries since, and performed surgery on Orel Hershiser's shoulder in 1990.

Jobe's fellowship program at the Kerlan-Jobe clinic has trained more than 250 fellows since its inception.

He grew up in North Carolina, fought in the U.S. Army during World War II, then studied at the Loma Linda School of Medicine and did his residency at Los Angeles County Hospital.

Here is a sample of reaction to his passing:

Jobe was honored (though not enshrined) by the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2013 as part of an awards celebration.

Perhaps Jobe's impact was best summed up by Jobe himself.

"The most satisfying feeling in medicine is to watch a patient from the time of the injury until he’s well and back to 100 percent," said Jobe. "This is very satisfying because it’s something I took part in from the beginning."

Jobe is survived by his wife, Beverly, four sons—Christopher, Meredith, Cameron and Blair—their spouses and eight grandchildren.. The Dodgers say the Jobe family plans a celebration of his life, and that details will be forthcoming.

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