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Weaver grateful for Yocum's guidance

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LOS ANGELES -- The death of Lewis Yocum, the Angels' longtime team orthopedist, had an impact on many in and around the Angels community, including ace right-hander Jered Weaver.

Yocum died on Saturday night at age 65 because of liver cancer, but nobody in the organization knew about his passing until Tuesday.

The Angels dedicated their training room to Yocum earlier this month, and Weaver hung the sign that reads "Dr. Lewis Yocum Athletic Training Room" on the door.

"It was shocking," an emotional Weaver said. "Stuff happens in the world, but you never expect something like this to happen to someone like that."

While Weaver has had a relatively healthy career and never had to deal with Yocum in-depth, he did talk to him several times about minor aches and pains. Weaver trusted Yocum and considered him "one of the best at what he did."

"He was always truthful and honest about all the little nagging injuries that go along with getting through the course of a season," Weaver said. "He was a very knowledgeable guy. He was the go-to guy."

Weaver added that it was "privilege to talk to and be around someone like that." It is because of those qualities -- and many others -- that Yocum will be missed so dearly.

Weaver is not the only one who will miss Yocum and knows the doctor's presence will never be forgotten.

"A guy like that doesn't come around too often," Weaver said. "I know there are a lot of guys knocking on the door, trying to fill his position, but I don't think those shoes will ever be filled."

William Boor is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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