He may yet be voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, but Dr. Frank Jobe has a spot in the hearts and fans of the Pasadena-based Baseball Reliquary as part of the Class of 2012 for the Shrine of the Eternals.
Reliquary director Terry Cannon announced that Jobe, the orthopedist most known for creating what’s called the “Tommy John Surgery” to repair elbow tendons for pitchers nearly 40 years ago, received the greatest percentage of eligible votes — 34 — and will be inducted in a July ceremony along with former big-league pitchers Jim “Mudcat” Grant and Luis Tiant, both of whom received 33 percent.
The Board of Directors of the Reliquary (linked here), a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering an appreciation of American art and culture through the context of baseball history, created the Shrine of the Eternals in 1999 as the organization’s equivalent to the Baseball Hall of Fame. The 14th annual induction ceremony will be on Sunday, July 15 — the day before Dr. Jobe’s 87th birthday — at the Donald R. Wright Auditorium in the Pasadena Central Library. There are 39 pervious inductees.
Of the 50 eligible candidates on the ballot, former pitchers Lefty O’Doul (32 percent) and Dizzy Dean (30 percent) just missed induction. They were followed closely by Manny Mota (29 percent), Don Zimmer (29 percent), Steve Bilko (27 percent), Charlie Finley (25 percent), and Glenn Burke (24 percent).
Jobe had been on the Shrine’s ballot for 10 years.
Grant, on the ballot for eight years, was the first African-American pitcher to win 20 games (21 for the 1965 AL champion Minnesota Twins) but also became a fan favorite for his muttonchip sideburns, his own musical group called Mudcat and the Kittens, books of poetry, and the author of “The Black Aces,” which chronicles outstanding African-American hurlers and their stories of triumphs over racism.
Tiant, who also had 10 years on the ballot, won 229 games in 19 years with Cleveland and Boston, leading the AL with a 1.60 ERA to go with 21 wins in 1968. El Tiante won 20 games three times with the Red Sox with his swiveling, deceptive delivery.
Among those already inducted in the Shrine are Jim Abbott, Dick Allen, Yogi Berra, Ila Borders, Jim Bouton, Bill Buckner, Roberto Clemente, Steve Dalkowski, Rod Dedeaux, Dock Ellis, Mark Fidrych, Curt Flood, Ted Giannoulas, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Bill “Spaceman” Lee, Roger Maris, Satchel Paige, Jimmy Piersall, Jackie Robinson, Pete Rose, Casey Stengel, Fernando Valenzuela, Bill Veeck and Maury Wills.
== A Change.org petition to get Dr. Jobe into the Baseball Hall of Fame now has 407 signatures (linked here)
== A Q-and-A with Jobe from January in the Daily News (linked here) prior to him being honored by the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation.