What If It Was Dick Wantz Instead Of Tommy John Who Had The First Successful Ligament Replacement Surgery?
We all know the story about how ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction (or UCL) surgery started with Dr. Frank Jobe in 1974 when he did it on Tommy John and it saved the pitcher’s career.
Related, today, we throw around the term “Tommy John Surgery” with great ease.
But, what if it had been someone with a name like Dick Wantz who was the landmark case for this type of surgery instead of someone named “Tommy John”? (And, yes, Dick Wantz was a major league pitcher – albeit for just one game. It’s a very sad story.)
Somehow, I don’t think we’d be tossing around the term “Dick Wantz Surgery” as freely and often as we do “Tommy John Surgery”…would we?