Free Report: 10 Powerful Technical Chart Formations

Tommy John Surgery Statistics


Over a career that spanned three decades (1963-1989), pitcher Tommy John won a total of 288 games, pitched 162 complete games and struck out a total of 2,245 batters. And while his 288 wins places him 26th among all-time career wins leaders (7th among left handers), Tommy John is most well known for being the first baseball player to undergo ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) reconstruction surgery - better known as Tommy John Surgery.

In 1974, in his 12th season in the majors, Tommy John was helping the Los Angeles Dodgers to an NL pennant with a 13-3 pitching record before he permanently injured the ulnar collateral ligament in his arm. Typically, this type of injury meant the end of a pitchers career - including the likes of Sandy Koufax.

However, Dodgers team doctor, Dr. Frank Jobe devised a solution to reconstruct the UCL by taking a tendon from John’s right arm and replacing the torn UCL in his pitching elbow. Given a 1 in 100 chance, the pioneering surgery was a success and allowed Tommy John to come back from his injury and pitch for 14 additional seasons after surgery - in fact, he won more games after the surgery (164 wins vs. his 124 wins prior).

While Dr. Jobe waited two years after Tommy John’s procedure before performing another surgery, so to ensure it’s lasting benefits, Tommy John surgery has become commonplace in the world of baseball. In fact, a 2013 study found that one-third of the 124 active pitchers in the league at the time had undergone Tommy John surgery at some point in their career.

Pitchers to have gone through Tommy John surgery include: A.J. Burnett, Francisco Liriano, Chris Carpenter, Joe Nathan, Brian Wilson, Billy Wagner, Stephen Strasburg, David Wells, Tim Hudson, John Smoltz, and Matt Harvey.

Tommy John surgery numbers among MLB players (1974-present):

Tommy -john


Here is a complete look at the number of Tommy John surgeries each year in the MLB (and minors):

Year Majors Minors Total
2014* 19 17 36
2013 19 30 49
2012 36 33 69
2011 18 18 36
2010 16 35 51
2009 19 34 53
2008 18 21 39
2007 20 27 47
2006 18 20 38
2005 17 26 43
2004 13 26 39
2003 15 28 43
2002 14 15 29
2001 12 13 25
2000 14 12 26
1999 6 9 15
1998 3 5 8
1997 1 5 6
1996 8 4 12
1995 4 0 4
1994 1 1 2
1993 1 0 1
1992 1 0 1
1991 0 1 1
1990 1 0 1
1989 1 0 1
1988 2 1 3
1987 0 1 1
1986 2 1 3
1985 0 1 1
1984 1 0 1
1983 0 0 0
1982 0 0 0
1981 0 1 1
1980 0 0 0
1979 0 0 0
1978 0 0 0
1977 1 0 1
1976 0 0 0
1975 0 0 0
1974 1 0 1

*Data source: Disabled List Data (as of May 14, 2014)

 



Latest Articles


TEAM UP