Dr. Lewis Yocum, Angels team physician and leading expert on sports injuries passed away over the weekend at the age of 66 from liver cancer which he had been afflicted with for the past few years.
2013 was Yocum's 36th year with the Angels and he was widely consulted by every major league team. Bud Selig issued this statement through the MLB Press office:
"Dr. Lewis Yocum was a giant in the field of sports medicine. He was an invaluable resource to not only the Angels franchise but players throughout all of Major League Baseball, team physicians and the members of the Professional Baseball Athletics Trainers Society. All of our Clubs relied upon Dr. Yocum’s trusted opinion and judgment. Throughout the last 36 years, the lives and careers of countless players benefited from his pioneering expertise, and he made our game on the field better as a result. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest condolences to his wife Beth, their children, their friends and his many admirers."
Yocum was the number two man at Frank Jobe's Kerlan-Jobe clininc. Jobe pioneered the ligament transplant surgery commonly referred to as "Tommy John Surgery" after the pitcher who thrived when it was performed on him after all other hope for a career saver had been exhausted.
Yocum threw out the first pitch to the final home game of the 2012 season at Angel Stadium - as Eric Kay of the Angels communications office TWEETED HERE.
Along with Jobe, and James Andrews, Yocum was the name that appeared in any news report about an injured player, usually a pitcher. When the player was scheduled to visit Dr. Yocum, you held your breath if that player was on your team. When a good word came from the exam you knew it was as good as if it was etching stone on top of Mount Sinai. Condolences to his family, friends and the legion of players whose lives he touched.