Likely the most amazing statistic about Tommy John is that he lasted twenty six seasons. Considering that he missed a season and a half due to arm trouble, it would have been expected that his career would not be a long one. Not only did he come back from revolutionary surgery to repair his tendon (what we become known as “Tommy John” surgery) but he would post his most productive period of his career where he won twenty games three times in four years and was a Cy Young contender for those aforementioned four year span.
John was an effective sinkerball pitcher using his control to get batters out on the ground rather than put it past them. This isn’t to say that he couldn’t strike out batters, but he was not among the leaders in that category. Had Tommy John been more of a strike out pitcher (which is far sexier stat) or been part of a World Series win he may have received more votes. As his overall career numbers are similar to that of Bert Blyleven who finally made it to Cooperstown, a very strong case could be made by the Veterans Committee for Tommy John.