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Tommy John To The Hall Of Fame? MLB World Reacts

PHILADELPHIA, PA - CIRCA 1974: Pitcher Tommy John #25 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches against the Philadelphia Phillies during an Major League Baseball game circa 1974 at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. John  played for the Dodgers from 1972-74 and 1976-78. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

PHILADELPHIA, PA - CIRCA 1974: Pitcher Tommy John #25 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches against the Philadelphia Phillies during an Major League Baseball game circa 1974 at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. John played for the Dodgers from 1972-74 and 1976-78. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

More people know the name "Tommy John" for the pitching arm-repairing surgery that bears his name than for his 25-plus years on the mound. But there's a growing movement to change that.

In a recent interview with MLB insider Bob Nightengale, Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Kaat lamented that John isn't in the Hall of Fame. He pointed out that John might be the most famous pitcher there is due to the surgery bearing his name.

‘I think it’s a tragedy Tommy John is not in the Hall of Fame. Is there a pitcher more famous than Tommy John?’’ Kaat said.

On social media, there are a lot of people who find themselves in agreement with Kaat on this point. Many are asserting that the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown should commemorate those who had the biggest impact on the game - and the Tommy John surgery fits the bill in their assessment:

Tommy John was an All-Star pitcher with the Chicago White Sox in the late-1960s and then the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1970s.

In 1975, John suffered permanent damage to the UCL in his pitching arm. At the time, it was a career-ending injury for the overwhelming majority of pitchers who sustained it.

But John opted to get a newly-devised surgery called ligament replacement surgery under Dr. Frank Jobe. He was the first player to successfully return to baseball after getting the surgery, and went on to enjoy three more All-Star seasons over the course of 14 seasons.

Since then, Tommy John surgery has saved the careers of countless successful baseball players.

While Tommy John's numbers alone might not warrant a spot in Cooperstown, it may be worth re-examining whether his contributions to the game beyond the mound do.