Sports surgeon Dr. Lewis Yocum has died at the age of 65. According to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Yocum died in hospice care Saturday after a battle with liver cancer.
“The Angels family and Major League Baseball have lost one of baseball’s finest gentlemen and truly outstanding professionals with the passing of Dr. Lewis Yocum earlier this weekend,” said the Angels in a statement. “His talents extended the careers of countless professional athletes and provided extended quality of life for so many others he advised, treated and operated on during his distinguished career.”
Yocum was well-known throughout Major League Baseball (MLB) for his skill at Tommy John surgery, which replaces an elbow tendon with another tendon from elsewhere in the body. The surgery is used to extend the usable life of the elbow, and is particularly common for aging pitchers.
Yocum worked as an orthopedist for the Angels for 36 seasons, some of it under the tutelage of Dr. Frank Jobe. In addition to providing Angels players with medical care, Yocum also worked at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles and consulted with MLB players throughout North America.
MLB commissioner Bud Selig stated that Yocum was a “giant in the field of sports medicine” and an “invaluable resource” for MLB players.
(Image courtesy the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim)