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Padres pitchers, Black recall working with Yocum


SEATTLE -- Padres pitcher Clayton Richard wasn't one of the many players who had their careers saved by Dr. Lewis Yocum, though that doesn't mean Richard wasn't thankful for the for the work that he did.

"In baseball, you hear the name and everyone knows who he is," Richard said of Yocum. "Not all players have that. He left a legacy."

Yocum passed away from liver cancer last weekend at the age of 65, according to the Angels. Yocum had spent the past 36 seasons as the Angels team physician.

Richard saw Yocum in 2011 when he received a second opinion on his left shoulder, one on which he eventually had surgery.

San Diego pitcher Cory Luebke had reconstructive elbow surgery last May by Yocum. He saw Yocum in Spring Training after suffering a setback in his rehabilitation. Luebke could tell that Yocum wasn't well.

"You could tell something was going on with him," Luebke said.

Luebke might well have been one of Yocum's last patients.

"From the get-go, he was a nice, honest guy. A down-to-earth guy," Luebke said by phone Tuesday from San Diego, where he continues his recovery. "He cared about his work. He had a great passion for the game and helping athletes."

San Diego manager Bud Black, who was the pitching coach of the Angels from 2000-06, actually had knee surgery done by Yocum during his time in Anaheim.

"What a great man," Black said.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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