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Noted sports orthopedist Dr. Lewis Yocum has died

May 28, 2013, 3:31 PM EDT

Lewis Yocum

According to the Los Angeles Angels, Dr, Lewis Yocum, one of the most notable sports medicine practitioners there was, has died.

An orthopedist who followed in the footsteps of Dr. Frank Jobe — the first man to perform Tommy John surgery — Jobe had been the Angels team doctor for many years. In addition, he has performed surgeries and consults for many other teams and players. After Jobe and Dr. James Andrews, Yocum was easily the most commonly-referenced and best known doctor in baseball circles, be it for the surgeries he performed, the second opinions he offered — he was many a fan’s last hope after dire news was reported following a visit to Andrews — or for, sometimes, being involved in a bit of controversy when it came to how best to proceed for a rehabbing pitcher.

Sports medicine has come a long way since the days of trainers telling sore-armed pitchers to rub some dirt on it and get back out there. Guys like Yocum are the reason why.

Bud Selig has released a statement:

“Dr. Lewis Yocum was a giant in the field of sports medicine.  He was an invaluable resource to not only the Angels franchise but players throughout all of Major League Baseball, team physicians and the members of the Professional Baseball Athletics Trainers Society.  All of our Clubs relied upon Dr. Yocum’s trusted opinion and judgment.  Throughout the last 36 years, the lives and careers of countless players benefited from his pioneering expertise, and he made our game on the field better as a result.  On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest condolences to his wife Beth, their children, their friends and his many admirers.”

  1. cur68 - May 28, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    I’m sorry to see this. He saved many careers. Helped a lot of people. A good surgeon according to everyone who’s ever been his patient.

    Goodbye, Dr. Yokum.

    • tom5467 - May 28, 2013 at 4:20 PM

      What idiot put a “thumbs down” on this comment?

      • tfbuckfutter - May 28, 2013 at 7:59 PM

        5 of them apparently.

        But what’s more interesting is that those 5 idiots took issue with you calling them idiots….as did 8 additional people (at this point).

      • tuberippin - May 29, 2013 at 4:30 AM

        Perhaps the fact he misspelled the man’s name in a post about the death of said man.

    • bougin89 - May 28, 2013 at 10:12 PM

      Two Thumbs up from me, Cur68.

  2. joeflaccosunibrow - May 28, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    Wow

  3. Caught Looking - May 28, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    Stunning and sad. He was only 66. Halladay just went to see him earlier this month.

  4. xavier46 - May 28, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    He will be missed! Thoughts with his family and friends.

  5. proudlyfrenchcanadian - May 28, 2013 at 4:14 PM

    Sad day for baseball! He was quite young. My condolences to his family.

  6. eightyraw - May 28, 2013 at 4:18 PM

    I was wondering why I hadn’t seen his name as often recently – I had no idea he was battling liver cancer. The reconstructed arms of his patients (like Stephen Strasburg) will serve as a nice living memorial to his career.

  7. shanabartels - May 28, 2013 at 5:01 PM

    Wow, I had no idea Dr. Yocum was unwell in the first place. My condolences to his folks.

  8. onbucky96 - May 28, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    R.I.P. Doc.

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