His masterpiece is named after someone else, and he prefers it that way. Of course it wasn't likely that the public would embrace or comprehend or even be able to pronounce the full original name: "Reconstruction of the Ulnar Collateral Ligament Using the Palmaris Longus Tendon." They needed something simple.
"So it's Tommy John Surgery," Dr. Jobe says, more or less, in just about every interview. "And I like the way it sounds, don't you? Two first names, and it just kind of rolls off your tongue."
He might say something like this again in the speech he's been preparing, the one he's thinking about for the first time today as he sits behind his desk high above the freeway mass near the LAX flight path. It's the first day of May in 2013 at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic, and the doctor, who will soon be 88, has had his morning massage therapy and dried off from his pool work. He's done his exercises.
Dr. Jobe is in a navy suit with a light blue oxford, chatting on his iPhone. He hangs up and says the call was from a former physical therapy intern at the clinic who moved on to an undergrad PT program at the school of his choice — helped, he says, "maybe a little," by a phone call Dr. Jobe had made to the dean of admissions. His assistant, Virginia, laughs, knowing he helped a lot.
Dr. Jobe says Jared called to say he got straight A's — except for one C-plus.
"He apologized for it, and I told him it's OK," Dr. Jobe says. "I got lots of C-plusses."