He struck out 15 in his first start. He was 17 years old.

He willingly enlisted in the Navy at the start of World War II. He was the first Major Leaguer to do so, and he gave up four years of his prime to do it.

In the off seasons, he led baseball barnstorming tours, often including players from the Negro Leagues.

He continued going to Indians games — and live in Cleveland — after his retirement. He signed anything and everything fans asked him to.

He won 266 games. His career ERA was 3.25. He threw three no-hitters — including the only one ever thrown on an opening day — 12 one-hitters and was selected to the All-Star Game eight times.

Without question, Bob Feller was the greatest player to wear the Cleveland Indians uniform. He died last night.

1 Comment

  1. UC, Here’s my Feller story. The set up is a bit tricky but here it is…

    HP’s friend Carrie was born and raised in Chagrin Falls and her parents were hosting a party. Bob Feller is there and I strike up a conversation. Carrie’s mother comes over and calls Bob “her yardboy”. Turns out that young Bob needed some extra bucks and mowed their lawn while in the employ of the Indians. He got to laughing, pretty soon we were all laughing. Great guy.

    You can understand why Bob Feller and players of his era don’t take kindly to some of the ungrateful millionaires that are currently grousing about how tough it is as a professional athlete. I have a hard time imagining a current pro athlete mowing the neighbors lawn for any reason. Call me cynical if you must.

    The old timers don’t get enough credit or recognition for making possible the largess that is being heaped upon the current pro athelete and owners. They all owe a debt to those that came before.


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