NEW BERLIN – Tommy John has done just about everything relating to baseball since retiring from Major League Baseball in 1989 after a 26-year career.
He has worked as a broadcaster for the Yankees, had stints as a manager and coach, served as a pitch man for various products, and he has also traveled to various locales to promote the game he loves. John was the guest celebrity at the Chobani Champions Field grand opening Friday night in New Berlin. John works with a sports marketing firm based out of Orlando, Fla., and he travels all over the country signing autographs and spreading the baseball gospel.
“I just enjoy meeting people, and any time you can pass on advice and stuff to kids, it’s good and it’s fun,” John said. “I think a lot of times kids don’t understand the history of baseball. Before they can really appreciate the game, they have to understand where the game came from, and who made it great.”
These days, if a youth knows the name Tommy John, it comes from the surgery that bears his name. John tore a ligament in his pitching elbow during the 1974 season. In the past, any injury of that sort ended a baseball career. John, pitching with the Los Angeles Dodgers at the time, was fortunate that he doctor for the Dodgers, Dr. Frank Jobe, had developed a revolutionary surgery where the tendon in the forearm was harvested and used to repair the damaged ligament in the elbow.