02 October 2014

a memorial patch for dr. lewis yocum

usually i post about memorials on mondays, but i figured i would show an angel card today as the team with the best record in the majors this year begins its postseason journey today, and i had this 2014 topps mike trout 'the future is now' card in the hopper
trout is wearing the patch that the angels wore during the 2013 season to honor their late team physician, dr. lewis yocum, who died from liver cancer in may of that year.

yocum had been affiliated with the club since 1978, but did not treat only angel players. as one of the most renowned orthopedic surgeons in sports (along with frank jobe and james andrews), yocum consulted with many players and performed surgeries on the likes of stephen strasburg, jordan zimmermann, ryan madson, and jacoby ellsbury, along with angels kevin jepsen, john lackey, and kendrys morales to name a few.

former angel lackey, on whom yocum performed tommy john surgery in 2011, wore the patch for a game, even though he was with the red sox at the time
as did former angel kendrys morales, who was with seattle in 2013, but had yocum operate on his injured leg while with the halos.  morales' teammates raul ibanez and felix hernandez also wore the patch, although i don't know if they were patients of yocum's or not
thanks to uni watch for pointing out the opposing player patches, by the way.

after the angels honored yocum (they also named the training room after him), i wondered if the dodgers would similarly honor dr. frank jobe, their longtime team doctor and pioneer of the ligament replacement surgery simply known as 'tommy john' surgery after he passed in march of 2014.  they did not wear a patch, but they did name their training room after him.

so, the angels and the royals get started tonight in one of the al division series, and the pitchers facing each other on the mound - jered weaver and jason vargas - both wore the yocum patch as angels in 2013.  neither ever went under yocum's knife as far as i can tell (vargas had a couple of surgeries while in the mets organization), but it was weaver who placed the yocum plaque on the training room wall.

as a fan, i am thankful for the talents of all the trainers and team doctors and surgeons, like dr. yocum, who keep these players on the field.

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