Thursday, December 27, 2007

#25 - Tommy John

There will be people who blast me for not putting Jim Thome here. Especially when I said he's the greatest hitter to ever wear #25. I stand by that, but there was a pitcher on the White Sox that has made better use of his time in Chicago wearing #25. That pitcher would be Tommy John.

I don't take anything away from Jim Thome. He is a great player and a great human being, but his highlight since he has come on the team has been his 500th home run. So, let's see why Tommy got the nod.

Tommy was on the Sox from 1965 until 1971. One of his best years came in 1968. He posted a 1.98 ERA and had a 10-5 record. He made his first All-Star appearance that year, although his only appearance as a White Sox.

His record with the Sox was 82-80, but that doesn't begin to tell the story. He might have been out of baseball a few years after being on the White Sox if it hadn't been for a career saving surgery called ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction. You know it better as Tommy John surgery. He went on to pitch until 1989 and still has hope to make the Hall of Fame.

Sometimes a player is known for what he's done with a particular team, sometimes it's for something that's not on a field. Tommy John was a great pitcher before his surgery. He was a great pitcher after that too. This surgery revolutionized the game of baseball. For that alone Tommy John deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. Tommy was also one heck of a pitcher too. That part usually gets lost in the shuffle.


Anonymous said...

I liked Tommy John, but my favorite #25 or my vote for the best #25 goes to Mike Squires, longtime 1st baseman. Spanky won a Gold Glove, played many positions and was the man to hoist the 1983 flag, as the senior member of the White Sox.

Steve Gierman said...

I love Squires! Awesome player and an all-around great guy to have on your team. He gets my vote for the blue collar edition of White Sox uniform numbers.

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