Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Signed Ball of the Day : Tommy John ( ROMLB Sweet Spot )

Day two of my recap of autographs that I acquired at Fanfest back in 2010 in Anaheim. When I arrived I had my list in hand of who I wanted to acquire and at 10 in the morning was my first opportunity which happened to also be a Dodger. Tommy John.

As a player Tommy had if not a great career, an above average long one. He was so close to the 300 win club with his 288 but that is also coupled with 231 losses. He never was a World Series Champion but played for the Dodgers and against the Dodgers in a few of them. The best thing about Tommy was that he was constantly good and you knew what you were going to get out of his starts. He had a few great years but never won the Cy Young award. What he is most famous for though is his name attached to a surgical procedure that today is common but back in the 1970's when he had it done it was revolutionary. What is now know as the Tommy John procedure was a radical decision at the time. It's when you have a damaged ligament and you replace it with a healthy one from your arm or leg with the hope you can continue on with your career. It is said that if this was around during Sandy Koufax's time we might have seen at least 5 more years of his dominance. Tommy rebounded nicely and continued to pitch another 13 years in the bigs.

Seeing Tommy on the list of scheduled signers made it easy that he was one of the must gets for the day. He was a Dodger and he is named after a procedure that is commonplace nowadays. Headed over to the area where he was to appear and like with Bob's signing afterwards I was about 50th in line. Again no worries on my part. Tommy showed up on time and engaged the crowd prior to sitting down. He started signing and the line moved briskly. Got up to the table and he asked if I wanted it on the sweet spot which of course I did. Said thank you and moved on to signature station number two. A great looking ball of a Dodger that helped paved the way for players to continue a career when before if you had this injury you were probably done with baseball.

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