Minor league team's 'Ode to Tommy John surgery' giveaway is cut above

The Potomac Nationals have found a unique way to pay homage to Tommy John surgery. (Potomac Nationals)

For the past several years the limits of minor league promotions have been pushed to the point where anything is now possible. That includes but is not limited to bobblehead dolls with actual facial hair and allowing former Heisman Trophy winners with limited skills to suit up in pursuit of the impossible dream.

Yeah, we went there. And now the Potomac Nationals are going to a place no team has gone before by paying tribute to baseball’s most famous surgical procedure: Ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction, which is commonly referred to as Tommy John surgery.

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On Saturday, July 8, the Washington Nationals A-ball affiliate will be giving away statues depicting the career-saving and game-changing operation that Dr. Frank Jobe first performed on Tommy John in 1974.


The first 1,250 fans through the gate will receive this pseudo bobblearm that some are also comparing to the old Operation board game. That’s because the ligament is actually removable.

There’s some speculation that the arm is modeled after Stephen Strasburg, who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2010 shortly after making his MLB debut with Washington. We cannot confirm nor deny that, but we can confirm Strasburg is among the surgery’s success stories despite dealing with other ailments along the way. That would seemingly give Potomac and the Nationals good reason to celebrate the procedure.

We can also confirm this promotion is a cut above the rest in terms of creativity.

Typically, giveaways such as bobbleheads and statues are reserved for individual players or moments that left an indelible mark. But the Potomac Nationals are reminding us once again that promotions and giveaways can be literally anything.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!