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Injuries and the Chance for Greatness

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July 30, 2008: Jorge Posada had rotator cuff surgery

September 22, 2008: Hideki Matsui had surgery on his left knee

October 7, 2008: Mariano Rivera had surgery on his throwing shoulder

March 10, 2009: Alex Rodriguez has the first of two surgeries to repair his hip- upon review, the injury heals so well that the second surgery is canceled.

It seem routine, doesn't it?

  • Torn cartilage in the right knee at age 19.
  • Surgery to remove loose cartilage in left knee at age 21.
  • Suffers injury to left shoulder during the World Series at age 25.
  • Suffered from abcesses in his hip at age 29.  Missed the end of the regular season, but returned to play in the World Series.
  • Surgery to remove cartilage from left knee at age 31.
  • Right shoulder surgery at age 34.

On the other hand, if Mantle's knees had been better he probably would have been drafted to fight in Korea and not have won the Triple Crown.

DiMaggio, Ruth, Red Ruffing, and Ron Guidry all missed time with major injuries.  Hard to imagine what the Hall of Fame would look like if all the players had been given the benefit of modern medicine.