Gerald Grooms Marvin Setty Richard G Waldron Grand Marshals selected for West Union Fourth of July Parade Adams County, Maysville Vet team up to save injured dog Michael S Knauff Victor P Price Success builds from the bottom up Finalists named for 2017 Fair Queen Contest William Glenn DeWine, Reader Call For Tips in Rhoden Murder Investigation MHS principal to take superintendent post Peebles Skate Park now a reality 2017-18 Fur and Feather Ambassadors named Caley Grooms is Cattlemen’s Beef Ambassador Dr. Mueller leaving Health Department’s free clinic Hourglass Quilt Barn returning to Adams County Lung, Thornburg are First Team All-District selections North Adams hosts annual Boys Basketball Camps Walk-off winner Wanda Hill George D Johnson Life can be a juggling act My favorite thing to do on the farm Wolves in Adams County! Ronald L Wedmore Three lessons from Dad Donald D Morgan Wenstrup uninjured in Virginia shooting Portman staff to hold grant funding workshop Raymond E Applegate Keeping the Peebles tradition alive Back on the hardwood, local hoops squads compete in Monday Night League Seven county athletes recognized as All-SHAC Baseball honorees Stepping to the podium Lady Hounds host Youth Volleyball Camp Senior Profile: Bryan Young Junior Deputy Boot Camps kick off in Manchester Hayes pleads “not guilty” to 109 counts Six-year-old girl finds long-lost class ring Jefferson Alumni awards annual scholarships Paul Tate Jr Marcus I Cox Jewell Gill James M Hill Jr Jeffrey S Jones Samuel A Disher Jack Sterling BREAKING NEWS: Parents face charges after son overdoses on opiate License Hikes and Tall Turkey Tales Danger under every rock Reigning Miss Ohio USA will judge 2017 Adams County Fair Queen Pageant Gordley’s hoops career will continue at Mount St. Joseph Russell C Newman Kenneth C Thurman George Uebel Summer Reading Program underway Honor Flight carries local veteran to DC When rescuers become victims Passing the torch, West Union hosts week-long basketball camp for future Dragons SENIOR PROFILE: Sara Knechtly Terry L Powell Willie Shreffler James C Fitzpatrick Senior Profile: Austin Parks Six countians named to All-SHAC Softball squad Lady Indians get summer camp season underway Memorial Day services pay tribute to local veterans WUHS Steel Band will perform at Bogart’s SSCC announces Honors Lists for spring semester Peebles Elementary releases Honor Roll for final nine weeks West Union Elementary announces Honor Roll for fourth nine weeks Back to State! Mom calls daughter “living proof” seat belts save lives Rent-2-Own donation means new soccer scoreboard at WUHS NAHS student selected for Engineering Summer Camp Southern Hills Athletic Conferences honors Spring Sports athletes Senior Profile: Kailyn Boyd Madison Welch receives Riffle Scholarship Junior Achievement Volunteers visit county’s seventh graders Marcella J Abbott James Ratliff Gladys Davitz Harry G Shupert Memories on Memorial Day A soldier’s story, a family’s grief Thank You for your sacrifice Seaman community honors local veterans with special tribute Former PES teacher dies in tragic accident All County Senior Citizens Day celebrated Parks signs with SSCC Soccer Senior Profile: Lexie Bunn Jessie Rodgers Memorial Day services set for county Truly our greatest generation Bertha Lashley Maia Swartz Jessie Rodgers Errors spell the end of Devils’ baseball season Senior Profile: Carry Hayslip

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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