Ryan, Sowards lead Lady Indians to easy win in season opener, 57-36 over Felicity Senior Profile: Wes Hayslip Justice off to hot start at VSU County boys’ squads on display in annual SHAC Preview Night ‘Operation Christmas Child’ collects 1,707 shoe boxes for needy children Two animal cruelty cases investigated in Adams County DP&L considers closing power-generating plants in county Holiday spirit makes an early appearance in Adams County Chester A Mann Jeffrey A Daley Sr Michael G Tincher DAR sponsors Good Citizen Award Ohio’s young hunters harvest nearly 6,000 deer during Youth Gun Season Senior Profile: Kayle Thomas Helen N Hiestand Rev Walter R Egnor Sr Betty Beam Jamie L Corrill Jeffrey L Heppard Edsel L Massey Jr It is time to stop and take time to give thanks on a special day Another year to be very thankful for Senior Profile: Savannah McCoy McCoy signs to continue golf career at SSU North Adams hosts SHAC Girls Preview DAR commemorates 50th anniversary of Vietnam War Historical Society honors veterans Star Wars routine leads Fancy Free Cloggers to ‘America’s Got Talent’ A Day at the Opera Eagle Creek draws community to Thanksgiving celebration Ward ekes out victory over Worley in county commissioner race Mary A Garman Ronald L Palmer Joseph S McClanahan II Emma O Hayslip Devils slip by Georgetown in Foundation Game Hupp, Hunter, Wolke named OSSCA Second Team All-State Senior Profile: Kain Turner Lady Devils romp in Foundation Game Oh, those aromas coming from Mom’s kitchen What Became My Biggest Project Deer gun season set to begin ‘Trees to Textbooks’ shares revenues with local schools and communities BREAKING NEWS Winchester’s Baxter wins Miss Ohio USA 2017 pageant Genny Elkins Pauline S Stevenson Donald E Lewis Sr Charlotte R Seaman Ruth Prater Bennie Skaggs Gertrude Swayne West Union High School hosts impressive Veterans Day ceremonies Peebles Elementary hosts ceremony to honor local veterans Duke Energy exits Killen and Stuart Plants GE Aviation hosts annual Veterans Day celebration Senior Profile: Logan Gordley Jeffrey A Brown Sr Peebles Library welcomes local author and survivor on Nov. 19 Homer C Eldridge Robert W Schomberg One Commissioner race too close to call in unofficial count Voters approve majority of county levies on Tuesday’s election ballot NAES Sixth Graders practice the democratic process Honoring one who gave the ‘last full measure of devotion’ Overcoming adversity, veteran of Iraq War opens local business Senior Profile: Ben Figgins Senior Profile: Macy Mullenix SHAC Basketball Previews are set for Nov. 18 and 25 Trio of local golfers finish careers with trip to the highest level of high school competition Peebles sophomore Jenny Seas finishes sixth in OHSAA state cross-country meet Upset win sends Trump to the White House ACRMC awarded plaque for 50 years of service Peebles Elementary releases Honor Roll for First Nine Week Grading Period BREAKING ELECTION NEWS! Senior Profile: Jordyn Kell Orlie H Kirker Military homecoming at NAES Second half spells doom as Greyhounds fall to Hillcrest 42-12 in finale Senior Profile: Sarah McFarland WU’s Horton will continue golf career at SSU Lady Devils’ season ends in heartbreak with 3-2 loss in District championship battle Christine R. Ritchey Operation Christmas Child begins Nov. 14 Mental Health levy on tomorrow’s ballot Wanda L. Nixon David Rogers Robert “Bobby” Leonard Keneth Waters Commissioner Worley seeks re-election Republican challenger vies for Commissioner’s seat Charles Cooper Thelma J White Kayleigh L Crothers AEP Ohio employees support Breast Cancer Awareness Month WUHS holds annual Beta Club and Honor Society inductions When Saturday mornings belonged to the kids of the house Senior Profile: Gloria Purdin Green-White Night, OHSAA Meeting at WUHS on Nov. 9
web1_Smoltz.jpg

Smoltz: ‘Take care of young arms’

The Hall of Fame ceremonies July 26 in Cooperstown, NY, were about celebrating the careers of John Smoltz and other new inductees. Smoltz, however, took the time in his remarks to include another issue during his time at the podium.

An Atlanta Brave for 20 of his 21 major league seasons, Smoltz chose to look ahead rather than reflect on the past.

“Please take care of those great future arms,” Smoltz said in a message to all who are responsible for protecting young pitchers.

Smoltz is the first pitcher to reach the Hall of Fame after having Tommy John surgery on his pitching arm. He does not want to see a long line of today’s youngsters face such a challenge.

“I want to encourage the families and parents that are out there to understand that this is not normal to have surgery at 14 and 15 years old, that you have time, that baseball’s not a year-round sport, that you have an opportunity to be athletic and play other sports,” Smoltz said.

Tommy John surgery, named after the first player to successfully undergo the then-experimental procedure, is a reconstruction of the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in the elbow. Similar to anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction in the knee, Tommy John surgery uses a tendon from another part of the body, or sometimes a cadaver, to replace the UCL.

Smoltz wants to reduce the need for such drastic measures, thus enabling players to continue athletic pursuits.

The Hall of Famer would like to see youngsters throwing more but pitching less, and “playing” more but “competing” less.

In addition to concerns about trying to play the same sport too much with young developing bodies, Smoltz questioned the process of pushing children into more high-level competition at the expense of more enjoyable games, both formal and informal.

Youth baseball has evolved through the years with well-researched pitching limitation rules to try to prevent managers, coaches and players from pushing too hard. As Smoltz points out, the emphasis on being a baseball pitcher “year-round” makes it difficult for those rules to keep up.

“Don’t let the institutions that are out there running before you guaranteeing scholarship dollars and signing bonuses (tell you) that this is the way,” Smoltz said in continuing his message to parents. “We have such great, dynamic arms in our game that it’s a shame that we’re having one- and two- and three-(time) Tommy John recipients.

“So, I want to encourage you to, if nothing else, know that your children’s passion and desire to play baseball is something that they can do without a competitive pitch. Every throw a kid makes today is a competitive pitch. They don’t go outside; they don’t have fun; they don’t throw enough.

“But, they’re competing and maxing out too hard, too early, and that’s why we’re having these problems.”

Smoltz, who won 213 games and saved 154 during his career, characterized serious elbow injuries and the earlier, increased need for Tommy John surgery among pitchers as an epidemic. It’s one he would like to see people join together to reduce.

“It’s something that is affecting our game,” Smoltz said. “It’s something that I thought would cost me my career, but thanks to Dr. James Andrews and all those before him, performing the surgery with such precision has caused it to be almost a false read, like a Band-Aid you put on your arm.”

Smoltz made it all the way back, but many never do. He hopes not as many have to try.

Reprinted with permission from GameChanger and The Season.

Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz is one pitcher who returned strong from Tommy John surgery.
http://www.peoplesdefender.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/web1_Smoltz.jpgHall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz is one pitcher who returned strong from Tommy John surgery. Courtesy photo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2016 People's Defender