The Chicago White Sox had some great years with Tommy John pitching for them. He was more than just the first guy to receive the surgery named after him.
We all heard the comment last year about the best pitcher in the Chicago White Sox organization being “Tommy John“. That is because Michael Kopech, Carlos Rodon, and Dane Dunning all pretty much missed the entire season because of the ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction surgery named Tommy John Surgery that they needed. Well, Tommy John was more than just surgery in terms of MLB history. He was a great player that spent a good amount of time with the White Sox.
John was the first pitcher in Major League history to have the procedure when he did it back in 1974. The surgery had a lot of backlash at the time but even John proved that it can be an effective surgery. He ended up getting more than half of his wins after he underwent the surgery.
Tommy John had a career record of 288-231 with an ERA of 3.34 and a career WHIP of 1.283. His career WAR of 61.6 was very impressive. He is more known for his surgery that was named after him but these numbers prove that he was a very good player. It would be fairer for people to know that he was actually a really good pitcher that deserves respect for his pitching ability.
It is also cool that he spent seven years with the Chicago White Sox. He was only tenured longer (eight years) with the New York Yankees. He also spent a few seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, California Angels, Cleveland Indians, and Oakland Athletics. He was a great player for pretty much all of them so it is time for people to start realizing that.
John came second in Cy Young Award voting twice in his career. There were also a couple of times where he received top-22 MVP votes. He was an all-star four times in his MLB career. John was for sure known for the surgery, but don’t ever forget how good of a player that he was.