Tommy John, who came to the Yankees in what was still the first wave of free agency in 1979 and recorded 91 of his 288 career victories in Pinstripes (most of any of his six teams), will be a guest bartender at Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant (18 W. 33rd St.) on Thursday, Jan. 31, from 6-8 p.m.
All of Tommy’s tips at the bar and a percentage of Foley’s revenue that day will be donated to the baseball great’s Let’s Do It Foundation, which supports the STOP Sports Injuries Campaign that seeks to reverse the alarming trends in “professional-level” injuries among youth sports participants, and the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention (AFSP).
“It is important for everyone who plays a role in a young athlete’s life to put youth health and safety first,” said John, who posted a 3.59 ERA in eight seasons with the Yankees. “As parents, coaches and healthcare providers, we must quickly and honestly communicate about issues of pain, injury and the need for proper recovery.”
A four-time All-Star (1968, 1978, 1979, 1980), John won the 1976 NL Comeback Player of the Year Award following an operation that replaced a ligament in his left arm with one from his right arm. The revolutionary procedure is now named after him and has become somewhat commonplace. The sinkerballing lefty, who won the Hutch Award in 1976 as the MLB player who “best exemplifies fighting spirit and competitive desire.”
“Tommy John is an inspiration to athletes and everyone who has faced adversity,” said Shaun Clancy, owner of Foley’s, which has raised tens of thousands of dollars for a variety of causes including, most recently, local victims of Hurricane Sandy. “We are proud that our 9th anniversary party will support two causes that are important to him: reducing professional level injuries to young athletes and suicide prevention.”
The effort is the latest in a series of charitable events hosted by Foley’s since 2004. Others include George Martin’s “a Journey for 9/11,” David Robertson’s High Socks for Hope, the David Wright Foundation, Ed Randall’s Bat for the Cure, MSG’s Garden of Dreams, The Jimmy Fund, Tug McGraw Foundation, and Umps Care, and Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.
Tommy John’s Let’s Do It Foundation, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization established in 2012. It supports the STOP Sports Injuries Campaign, which seeks to reverse the epidemic of overuse injuries that are occurring at alarmingly younger ages. The high rate of youth sports injuries is fueled by an increase in overuse and a lack of attention paid to proper injury prevention. To address these issues, the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine and its collaborators created the STOP Sports Injuries Campaign. It is designed to help parents, coaches, healthcare providers and athletes learn more about the prevention, treatment and long-term consequences of overuse and trauma injury.
Additionally, the Let’s Do It Foundation supports the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention’s programming for outreach, awareness and advocacy. It is a public health issue that does not discriminate by age, gender, ethnicity, or socio-economic status. Close to one million people attempting suicide annually in the U.S., and an estimated lives are lost each year. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among teens and young adults. Tommy John’s youngest son Taylor surrendered to suicide in 2009.