If you’re a reasonably avid sports fan, and you’ve heard that someone from your hometown team is headed to see Dr. James Andrews, you probably have a mini-stroke. Andrews is the famous orthopedic doctor considered tops in all sports, and has checked out tons of athletes, having performed an estimated 2,500 Tommy John surgeries in his career.
You know his name, you know what he does, now get to know him.
Andrews, 66, seems like an unlikely character to play such an outsize role. His regular-guy manner suggests a pickup truck and bass boat. His office uniform isn’t a white doctor’s coat but a Sunday-best suit and tie. For all his digital-age ingenuity, he doesn’t do email. He greets both high-school athletes and Major Leaguers, “Hey, big man,” in a Louisiana twang, a reassuring hand on the shoulder. Beyond the unpretentious demeanor, though, Andrews, like the athletes he treats, has big-ticket tastes. Think Bentleys, Ferraris, and the America’s Cup, in which his yacht, Abracadabra III, competed in 2000. He hopscotches to football games and to his Alabama and Florida clinics on his private jet, a Falcon 10. And then there’s his intensity: He speed-walks like a New Yorker, even after quadruple-bypass surgery two years ago.
Read the whole thing, it’s really something.