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“He was the sole reason a lot of pitchers and I had a chance at a career in baseball,” tweeted Wilson, who signed a $78 million, five-year contract eight years after having Tommy John surgery in 2003.

The Angels remembered Yocum as “one of baseball’s finest gentlemen and truly outstanding professionals.”

“His talents extended the careers of countless professional athletes, and provided extended quality of life for so many others he advised, treated and operated on during his distinguished career, including 36 years with the Angels,” the team said in a statement.

“His contributions and impact in the medical field will long be remembered across the country. He represents the standard for others in his profession to attain.”

A native of Chicago, Yocum earned his bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University in 1969 and a doctorate from the University of Illinois in 1973. He served his surgery internship and residency in orthopedic surgery at Northwestern University. He served his fellowship in sports medicine at the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic in 1977.

Yocum was just the second doctor to be inducted as an honorary member of the Professional Baseball Trainers Society in 2008.

Yocum is survived by his wife, Beth; son Donald; and daughter Laura.