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takes a look at the struggles

Youd be hard pressed to find a man whos had a greater impact on baseball over the past 40 years. Jered Weaver Jersey . Were not talking about Hank Aaron, or Bob Gibson  or Roger Clemens, Cal Ripken Jr. or Barry Bonds. Were talking about Dr. Frank Jobe who passed away Thursday night at the age of 88. He is the surgeon who pioneered the ulnar collateral ligament transplant surgery that saved so many elbows and prolonged the careers of so many players, pitchers and position players alike. Dr. Jobe first performed his landmark surgery in 1974. He was actually in the stands watching at Dodger Stadium when Tommy John, for whom the operation will forever be known, blew out his elbow in a game against the Expos. John was out of action for 18 months after the surgery. But he not only returned, he flourished. Tommy John was named Comeback Player of the Year in 1976 and went on to win another 164 games with the Dodgers and Yankees before retiring at age 46. He finnished with 288 victories and a 3.34 ERA. He appeared in three All-Star Games after his surgery. He was never the best pitcher of his generation or anything close to that, but his career numbers and the fact he rebounded from this operation the way he did should in the Hall of Fame in my mind. Just how important has this operation been? Well before last season, 124 of the 360 pitchers on the opening day rosters had undergone at least one "Tommy John". Its not just the pitchers though, whove gone through this career-saving surgery. Carl Crawford, Rafael Furcal, ex-Jay Kelly Johnson and current Jays catching prospect A.J Jimenez have all undergone this elbow surgery. The first Blue Jays pitcher I could find who had the operation was David Wells back in 1985. But the list grows from there. Jimmy Key in 1988, former skipper John Farrell in 1991 while he was pitching for Cleveland and the list goes on. You have Billy Koch, A.J Burnett while he was with Florida, Jason Frasor who had it done twice, B.J. Ryan in 2007, Dustin McGowan, Shaun Marcum, Josh Johnson while with Florida and Chris Carpenter with St. Louis in 2007. All owe their careers to Dr. Jobe and those surgeons who have followed his trailblazing path. The disturbing thing is the way elbow injuries have increased. There were 24 documented "Tommy John" surgeries in 2013, including those of Mets star pitching prospect Matt Harvey and Blue Jays journeyman pitcher Ramon Ortiz, who underwent the operation for a second time. But the worst year by far was 2012, when there were 46 "Tommy Johns" including four to Blue Jays Drew Hutchison, Kyle Drabek, his second, Luis Perez and the aforementioned A.J. Jimenez. There are two known pitchers who actually had three elbow ligament transplant surgeries. Jose Rijo who helped spark the Reds to victory in the 1990 World Series and Jason Isringhausen, who turned from a top starting prospect with the Mets to a standout reliever later in his career. Rijo is truly a remarkable story. After being named an All-Star with the Reds in 1995, he suffered a serious elbow injury and was out of the game for five full seasons. He finally battled back in 2001 as a reliever with Cincinnati. It was said after three "Tommy John" surgeries and two other arm operations, his elbow had almost no ligament left. But ironically, the arthritis in his elbow, the scar tissue and the fact he had built up the muscles in his forearm to such an extent, he was still able to throw against all odds. Rijo retired in 2002 but not before winning the final ball game ever played at old Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati. One pitcher who doesnt need to worry about his ulnar collateral ligament is Blue Jays knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. Thats because he was born without one. Like Rijo, Dickey has defied the odds with many a doctor saying Dickey  shouldnt be able to pitch without that ligament in his elbow. Yet two years ago, he won the Cy Young Award with the Mets and is still going strong with the Blue Jays at 39. At least 85 per cent of "Tommy John" patients make a complete recovery and in most cases, their elbows are stronger than ever. However, there are some who dont make it all the way back. Blue Jays closer B.J Ryan was never the same after his surgery in 2007 and was out of the game within a couple of years. But cases like that are the exception rather than the rule and the game would be a pale shadow of itself without the medical marvels of Dr. Frank Jobe. As a footnote, we should also mention Dr. Jobe pioneered a surgical technique on another Dodgers star, Orel Hershiser. It was a less invasive shoulder procedure that reduced the risk of collateral damage to the shoulder structure and sped up the recovery time. This and That Phillies infielder Freddy Galves will one day be the answer to a trivia question. On Thursday, he became the first player to hit a home run off the Yankees Japanese phenom Masahiro Tanaka. I try not to get too caught up in the struggles of pitchers in spring training since theyre often just working on command or one specific pitch but Ive got to admit on Wednesday, I was a little bit concerned when Brandon Morrow gave up five runs on six hits over three innings to the Pirates. Then I noticed on the same day, White Sox ace Chris Sale gave up six runs on six hits and a walk in just 2-2/3 innings against the Padres. Then, the Cubs  Jeff Samardzija surrendered three runs on four hits in three innings in a 7-5 loss to Colorado. At that point, I realized its too early to be making hard judgements. Johnny Manziel Jersey . Hollis-Jefferson went 5-for-6 from the field and added six rebounds, while Stanley Jefferson contributed 14 points for the Wildcats, who used their trademark tough defense to dominate the games final 24 minutes and advance to Tuesdays winners bracket matchup with Kansas State. Custom San Diego Padres Jerseys . Setting United on its way to a 2-0 victory, Rooney sent the ball high from inside the halfway line over goalkeeper Adrian after just seven minutes. "Its just instinct, Ive turned and had a quick look and seen the goalkeeper off his line," Rooney said.8. Remember the Titans (2000)Sure this plot has been done to death. The one where the team comes together despite seemingly insurmountable odds to not only win the championship, but to become better people in the process. It might be a little overdone and corny, but Remember the Titans is still worth the watch.  7. The Express (2008)The Express is likely one of the more underrated or unfamiliar flicks on this list. Its about real life college star Ernie Davis, who became the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy in 1961. If anything, this movie is good for a history lesson for all those sports nuts out there.  6. Brians Song (1971)Brians Song is probably the most emotional movie on the list. Its based on the real-life relationship between Brian Piccolo (James Cain) and Gale Sayers (Billy Dee Williams), who were running backs for the Chicago Bears in the 1960s. If there was ever a chick-flick/sports movie genre, this one would definitely top that list. 5. The Blind Side (2009)The Blind Side is the most successful football movie in terms of Academy Awards with Sandra Bullock taking the Oscar for best performance by an actress in a leading role. Plus, whenever you see offensive tackle Michael Oher in an NFL game on TV, you can say "hey, thats that guy from that movie."  4. Friday Night Lights (2004)Based on the book by H.G. Bissinger, Friday Night Lights takes a look at the surreal culture of high school football in the United States and the pressure these young men deal with from coaches, family annd the small towns they play in. Ozzie Smith Jersey. It was even good enough for a TV series.  3. The Longest Yard (1974)Younger generations might think of Adam Sandler and Chris Rock when The Longest Yard is mentioned, but it was the original with Burt Reynolds in 1974 that made this one a cult classic. Everybody loves a story of revenge and thats exactly what The Longest Yard is about. Plus, its always funny when someone gets smoked in the nether regions not once, but twice. Check out the clip below to see what we mean.  2. Any Given Sunday (1999)The star-studded cast in Any Given Sunday, led by Al Pacino (who plays fictional coach Tony DAmato), takes a look at the struggles behind modern day football, both on the field and off it. Its one of the more gritty and "real" football movies, revealing the unglamorous side of pro sports. And thanks to Pacino, Any Given Sunday has one of the best pre-game speeches in sports movie history. 1. Rudy (1993)Who doesnt love the story of Rudy? The inspirational true tale of Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger, who overcame major obstacles – mostly size – to accomplish his dream of playing for the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish, has been referenced anytime a player defies the odds to make it big. Sure he only played one down, but it was his "never give up" attitude that made this film worth watching. So what do you think of the list? Is there something we missed? Tell us what you think in the comment section below. Let the debate begin! Wholesale Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Hoodies Stitched Jerseys NFL Jerseys Cheap Wholesale Throwback Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Wholesale Throwback Jerseys ' ' '

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    takes a look at the struggles
    takes a look at the struggles
    Youd be hard pressed to find a man whos had a greater impact on baseball over the past 40 years. Jered Weaver Jersey . Were not talking abou...
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