Robert D Hill Lady Devils blank West Union 7-0 in SHAC soccer finale Vikings invade and conquer the Greyhounds Outpouring of community support for local business woman with cancer Manchester mourns teen killed in single-car crash Kylie S Lucas Sharon R Grooms Steven L Wootten Forest J McDaniel Ralph O Grooms Adams County teenager dies in auto accident Charles N Vance Wesley M Baldwin James Kennedy Tom A Mihalovich Brand hat trick leads North Adams past West Union 5-2 in SHAC soccer action Senior Profile: Bryant Lung Lady Hounds pull off thrilling Senior Night win Volleyball milestones continue to pile up at North Adams Banner season for Lady Indians soccer SHAC holds Junior High Volleyball Tournament Tournament match ups set for volleyball and soccer Senior Profile: Morgan Edmisten Hounds dominate, improve to 3-4 Is this not the best time of the year? Volley For The Cure is another big success Getting everything we ask for Oh, that dreaded leaf project Manchester: Adams County’s oldest community looks to the future with hope Congressman visits Manchester’s newest business Six candidates vie for MLSD School Board Highway 41 road work stalls MFD holds annual Safety Day for kids, families Lenora Mckee Virgie Cole Helen J Damron Karen S Lockhart Donna M Pelfrey Russell D Pollitt, Sr Karen S Lockhart Harris named Director of Shelter for the Homeless Local candidates abundant on November ballot Senior Profile: McKinlee Grooms Lady Dragons finish third in district golf tourney Lady Devils challenged, but survive to extend SHAC streak to 60 Rally falls short, Lady Hounds fall in five sets to Fairfield Senior Profile: Jessica Newman Lady Indians get shutout win over West Union, 2-0 Erwins host annual Herb Fair Bentonville: A community at the crossroads of Adams County history Tranquility, Wilson Homestead host annual Heritage Days Why we get back up Your local newspaper, the real deal Welcome to the morning klatch Oleda F Saunders Frank A Golden Shirley A Tully Hubert Knauff John T Shupert Celebrate the sports pages Gould, Woolard, defense lead Hounds to second win George E Lucas Betty A Johnson Hayes sentenced Sue Day Devils headed back to state golf tourney Earl R Fields Alberta L Steward Gregory Terry Linda Taylor Levies slated for November ballot Manchester residents forming neighborhood watch group West Union teachers receive prestigious award Crum arraigned in Brown County Common Pleas Court Seaman: A small town with a big heart and a family spirit Seaman Fall Festival again draws large crowds NAES participates in weekend food program AES Ohio Generation assumes control of DP&L assets West Union, Peebles take home county XC crowns Lady Devils win a soccer buzzer-beater Senior Profile: Brooklyn Wylie Lady Dragons move to districts Green Devils win sectional golf title West Union hosting fourth annual Alumni Volleyball Game Gray breaks Lady Indians’ single season goals record Senior Profile: Chase Cummings Lady Dragons cruise to SHAC title Hupp ties school record with five goals in Lady Devils’ win over Southeastern For 14th time in 15 years, Dragons claim SHAC Boys Golf Championship Getting life in order See those signals of the season Jury returns verdict in former Manchester police officer’s trial Larry Peters Gary L Hughes Sr Deanna L Parker Stephen R Fetters Bonnie Hawkins Clifton J DeMint Steven L Kimberlin When you just know

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

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