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Rusty Tucker making friends with Tommy John

Rusty Tucker making friends with Tommy John

One pitch. Think of the possibilities. One pitch could have innumerable outcomes for a pitcher. One pitch could get the 27th out in a perfect game. One pitch could strikeout the 5,714th batter for the all-time strikeout lead. Or one pitch could be thrown in just the slightest way that next up in the on-deck circle is a smirking Tommy John (surgery).

Rusty Tucker, a left-handed relief pitcher with the Double-A Mobile BayBears, remembers vividly his one pitch that caused him to need the surgery. "I even remember the day," Tucker recalled. "It was Aug. 7, 2003. I was pitching for Double-A Mobile in Huntsville, AL. I just came in for a regular save, you know, nothing felt different or out of sync. It was just one pitch—a fastball—and I felt...

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