Thursday, December 16, 2010

Bob Feller (1918-2010)

Hall of Fame pitcher and Cleveland Indians icon Bob Feller has passed away at age 92.

This farm boy from Van Meter, Iowa was only 17 when he struck out eight members of the St. Louis Cardinals in three innings of an exhibition game. After this awesome display of pitching, Feller was advised to seek voluntary retirement from high school in order to sign a professional baseball contract. For 20 years, the teenage phenomena was known as "Bullet Bob" and "Rapid Robert." As a rookie, he struckout 15 batters in a single game, which at that time was an American League record. In 1940, Bullet Bob became the first American League pitcher to throw a complete game no-hitter on opening day.

At age 23, his career was interrupted by his four-year enlistment in the Navy. Upon entering the Navy, Feller became an anti-aircraft gunner aboard the U.S.S. Alabama and came out a highly decorated war veteran. He then re-entered Major League Baseball to regain his dominance on the mound. Even though his military career consumed four prime baseball years, Feller ranks 28th in history with 266 wins. He remains the Indians all-time leader in shutouts (46), strikeouts (2,581), innings (3,828) and All-Star appearances (8).

To this day, baseball historians speculate that Bullet Bob might have won 350 games and recorded nearly 3,500 strikeouts had he not joined the military. In 1962, this bullet hit the bulls-eye with an induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

This bio was taken from the official Bob Feller website

In 1937 right after he got back from high school graduation

Great Lakes Naval Station (Feller is second from the left)

1948 Bowman Rookie Card

1952 Topps 

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