Eugene Cha

Stories by Eugene Cha

Thirty years since Tommy John surgery, and recovery is still hard for today's patients

The season for the Minnesota Twins is not going as well as the team had hoped. They are behind in the race for the playoffs after three consecutive American League Central Division titles. The season is not going quite as well as pitcher Joe Mays had hoped either. He is a former starting pitcher who is struggling in his first season since he had a major operation on his elbow known as Tommy John surgery. Mays is going down a road that Tommy John, the pitcher, blazed thirty years ago when he took a whole season off to recuperate from the original operation. That road has gotten more and more crowded over the years, and now includes Mays, and fellow Twins pitcher Grant Balfour. Minnesota Public Radio's Eugene Cha looks back at the first Tommy John operation, and shows us what today's pitchers face in recovery.

With starvation increasing, Minnesotans pitch in

2004 was a bad year for preventing starvation around the world. The United Nations reports that the estimated number of people dying of hunger has gone up for the first time in nine years. The U.N. also estimates that 5 million children died of starvation in the last year. But one Twin Cities non-profit group is trying mightily to improve the situation. Feed My Starving Children has bought, packed, and delivered more than 5 million meals to starving kids and adults around the world in the past year. And they did it with a staff of just just 4 full-time workers.