News From Terre Haute, Indiana

October 23, 2013

Public event added to Tommy John field dedication

Tribune-Star staff report
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Another event has been added to the list of activities to honor Tommy John Thursday, giving the public another chance to see the Terre Haute-born baseball legend.

The public is invited to come to the Indiana Theatre starting at 8 p.m. Thursday night to attend a special program featuring John starting at 8:30 p.m. The cost is $5 per person, and tickets can be purchased at the theater door or at the Torner Center in Deming Park.

The first 500 people to purchase tickets will receive an official Topps Tommy John baseball card.

Earlier in the day, the softball field at the Spencer F. Ball Park will be dedicated as Tommy John Field at 5:15 p.m. The field dedication is free to the public. That park is at 14th Street and Eighth Avenue.

In his youth, John played baseball for Gerstmeyer High School at the field that will soon bear his name. A new scoreboard in Gerstmeyer orange and black has been erected at the ball park along with a sign stating “Tommy John Field.”

Born in 1943 in Terre Haute, John pitched 26 seasons in the majors, earning 288 wins, including two wins in World Series games. He scored the seventh-highest number of wins for any left-handed pitcher in major league history.

He is also the namesake for a kind of elbow surgery that extended his career in the big leagues — and which thousands or others now have had performed.

The events honoring Tommy John are being hosted by the Terre Haute Parks Department. Proceeds will be used to improve the ball diamond at Spencer F. Ball Park.

All tickets for a Thursday night dinner in honor of John, also at the Indiana Theatre, have been sold.