Saturday • July 20
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Ruth and Tommy
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On this episode, we welcome Chicago Sky Center Ruth Riley to the studio to talk some WNBA basketball and Olympics. ( We might even try to find out where she keeps the Gold Medal she won in Athens). Plus, baseball talk with former big league ace Tommy John.
Episode Segments:
 
Sports and Torts: Ruth Riley

Ruth Riley already has a Gold Medal from Athens, and she's headed back to the Olympics again. This time with a flip cam instead of a uniform. We'll find out what else she has planned for the WNBA's olympic break, and talk to her about her career, her humanitarian efforts, and about the state of the WNBA.
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Sports and Torts: Tommy John

We talk with the four time All-Star about his career, teammates, managers and why so many pitchers end up having the surgery named after him. Plus, his thoughts on his Hall of Fame chances.
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Links to Related Websites:
Chicago Sky Official Website

WNBA.com's official site of the team includes player profiles, photos, schedule, and news.


Guest(s) Appearing on this Episode
Ruth Riley
Ruth Riley plays forward/center for the Chicago Sky of the WNBA. She helped Notre Dame win the 2001 NCAA women's championship and was on the WNBA Detroit Shock teams that won WNBA titles in 2003 and 2006. As a member of the Shock, she survived having former Detroit Pistons standout Bill Laimbeer as coach. Ruth is a recent inductee to the Academic Hall of Fame and recipient of a WNBA community service award. She is involved with the "Nothing But Nets" program designed to eliminate malaria in Africa. One of three athletes selected by ESPN to carry around Flipcams during the Olympics in London, Ruth is chronicling her activities as the WNBA takes a break in playing games.

Ruth on Facebook

Ruth on Twitter


Ruth's Official Website

 
Tommy John
John was an outstanding basketball player at Gerstmeyer High School in Terre Haute, Indiana, where he held the city single game scoring record. Choosing baseball when he realized he would not go on to play professional basketball, John signed with the Cleveland Indians and made his major league debut at twenty years-old in 1963. Following two partial seasons with the Indians, John showed occasional excellence during seven respectable years as a starting pitcher with the Chicago White Sox. However, it was a trade before the 1972 season to the Los Angeles Dodgers for mercurial slugger Dick Allen that began a skein of John's most famous years, first with the Dodgers and subsequently with the New York Yankees, where he posted a pair of 20-win seasons and was twice an All-Star. John was also named an All-Star in 1968 with the White Sox and 1978 with LA. He played in all three Yankees vs. Dodgers World Series of his era (1977, 1978 and 1981), having switched over to the Yankees by the time the Dodgers won the Series in 1981. John was a soft throwing sinkerball pitcher whose technique resulted in batters hitting numerous ground balls and induced double plays. In the middle of an excellent 1974 season, John had a 13-3 record as the Dodgers were en route to their first National League pennant in eight years, before he permanently damaged the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching arm, leading to a revolutionary surgical operation. This operation, now known as Tommy John surgery, replaced the ligament in the elbow of his pitching arm with a tendon from his right forearm. The surgery was performed by Dr. Frank Jobe on September 25, 1974, and although it seemed unlikely he would ever be able to pitch again, he spent the entire 1975 season in recovery. John would work with teammate and major league pitcher Mike Marshall who was said to know how to help pitchers recover from injuries and taught John a completely different way to pitch where he would not turn his leg and go straight to the plate which eliminated the chance of him hurting his knee and arm, and he returned to the Dodgers in 1976. His 10-10 record that year was considered "miraculous" but John went on to pitch until 1989, winning 164 games after his surgery—forty more than before and one fewer than all-time great Sandy Koufax won in his entire career. After Phil Niekro's retirement, John spent 1988 and 1989 as the oldest player in the major leagues. In 1989, John matched Deacon McGuire’s record for most seasons played in a Major League Baseball career with 26 seasons played, later broken by Nolan Ryan. Today, many pitchers have Tommy John surgery during their careers. John decided it was time to retire in 1989, when Mark McGwire got two hits off him. McGwire's father was John's dentist. John said of his decision, "When your dentist's kid starts hitting you, it's time to retire. ohn did commentary on select games during WPIX's final year of broadcasting Yankee baseball in 1998. He also guest-hosted the Mike and Mike ESPN Radio program on June 26, 2008. It is unknown whether he will do any further work for the network. On December 17, 2006, John was named manager of the Bridgeport Bluefish in the Atlantic League, an independent minor league in the Northeast. He is currently the spokesman for Tommy John's Go-Flex, a joint cream for older athletes. He is also currently doing a national radio tour to promote this product as well as talk about life as a minor league coach, his years in the Major Leagues and to educate younger pitchers on taking care of their arms.

Tommy's Career Stats