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Tommy John
Career Paths
Marcus' Memoirs

'CAREER PATHS': June 2005



Cleveland Indians 1963-64: Signed by the Tribe as an amateur free agent in 1961, John made his major league debut two years later.  After going 2-11 in parts of two seasons, John was dealt to the White Sox in January 1965 as part of a three team deal. 



Chicago White Sox 1965-71: John blossomed into a reliable major league starter in Chicago, winning 14, 14, 10, 10, 9, 12 and 13 games during his time on the South Side.  In 1968, he earned his first All Star selection.


On December 2, 1971, the left-hander was shipped with Steve Huntz to the Dodgers for slugger Dick Allen.



Los Angeles Dodgers 1972-78:  After going 11-5 and 16-7 in 1972 & 73, John began the 1974 season with a 13-3 record before elbow problems ended his season in July.  At loss about what to do, John underwent an experimental surgery pioneered by Dr. Frank Jobe in which a ligament from his right elbow was placed into his damaged left elbow.  After missing the entire 1975 campaign, John returned in 1976 and posted a solid 10-10 record and 3.09 ERA.


In 1977, John posted his first 20 win season, going 20-7 for the NL Champs and won 17 games while earning a second All Star selection in 1978. Both seasons ended in World Series losses to the Yankees. John’s successful comeback paid off in November 1978, when he signed a lucrative, free agent contract with the Yankees.



New York Yankees 1979-82:  John continued his resurgence in the Big Apple, winning 21 and 22 games in 1979 & 80 and earning All Star selections each year.  He then went 9-8 in the strike-shortened 1981 season and helped the Yankees reach the World Series.  This time the Yankees lost to the Dodgers.  He began the 1982 season in New York, but was dealt to the Angels in August to bolster their pennant run.




California Angels 1982-85:  The veteran southpaw helped California earn their first postseason birth, going 4-2 down the stretch for the AL West Champs.  After jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five ALCS against Milwaukee, the Angels dropped three straight.  It would be the last time John played in the postseason.


After going 11-13 as a 40-year-old in 1983, John went 7-13 in 1984 and began the 1985 season 2-4 before being released in June.  Less than a month later, he was claimed by Oakland.



Oakland Athletics 1985:  John went just 2-6 with a 6.19 ERA in 11 starts with the A’s.  He signed a free agent contract with the Yankees in May 1986.



New York Yankees 1986-89:  John enjoyed a renaissance in his return to the Bronx, going 27-17 from 1986-88.  In 1989 however, the bottom fell out on the 46-year old, as he went 2-7 in 10 starts and was released in May.


In John’s career, he posted a 288-231 record with a 3.34 ERA and 2,245 strikeouts.


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