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Bob Feller

Bob Feller

Overview
On December 8, 1941, Feller enlisted in the Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

, volunteering immediately for combat service, becoming the first Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

 player to do so following the attack on Pearl Harbor
Attack on Pearl Harbor
The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941...

 on December 7. Feller served as Gun Captain aboard the USS Alabama, and missed four seasons during his service in World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, being decorated with five campaign ribbons and eight battle stars. His bunk is marked on the Alabama at Battleship Memorial Park
Battleship Memorial Park
Battleship Memorial Park is a military history park and museum located on the western shore of Mobile Bay in Mobile, Alabama. It has a collection of notable aircraft and museum ships including the South Dakota-class battleship USS Alabama and Gato-class submarine USS Drum...

 in Mobile, Alabama
Mobile, Alabama
Mobile is the third most populous city in the Southern US state of Alabama and is the county seat of Mobile County. It is located on the Mobile River and the central Gulf Coast of the United States. The population within the city limits was 195,111 during the 2010 census. It is the largest...

. Feller is the only Chief Petty Officer
Chief Petty Officer
A chief petty officer is a senior non-commissioned officer in many navies and coast guards.-Canada:"Chief Petty Officer" refers to two ranks in the Canadian Navy...

 in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

One year after his return to Major League action, in 1946, he registered an incredible 348 strikeouts while pitching in 48 games, starting 42 of those games.
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Encyclopedia
On December 8, 1941, Feller enlisted in the Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

, volunteering immediately for combat service, becoming the first Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

 player to do so following the attack on Pearl Harbor
Attack on Pearl Harbor
The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941...

 on December 7. Feller served as Gun Captain aboard the USS Alabama, and missed four seasons during his service in World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, being decorated with five campaign ribbons and eight battle stars. His bunk is marked on the Alabama at Battleship Memorial Park
Battleship Memorial Park
Battleship Memorial Park is a military history park and museum located on the western shore of Mobile Bay in Mobile, Alabama. It has a collection of notable aircraft and museum ships including the South Dakota-class battleship USS Alabama and Gato-class submarine USS Drum...

 in Mobile, Alabama
Mobile, Alabama
Mobile is the third most populous city in the Southern US state of Alabama and is the county seat of Mobile County. It is located on the Mobile River and the central Gulf Coast of the United States. The population within the city limits was 195,111 during the 2010 census. It is the largest...

. Feller is the only Chief Petty Officer
Chief Petty Officer
A chief petty officer is a senior non-commissioned officer in many navies and coast guards.-Canada:"Chief Petty Officer" refers to two ranks in the Canadian Navy...

 in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Subsequent career


One year after his return to Major League action, in 1946, he registered an incredible 348 strikeouts while pitching in 48 games, starting 42 of those games. That year Feller was 26-15 with an ERA of 2.18 while pitching 36 complete games. He led the American League in strikeouts seven times and had 200 or more strikeouts five times. Feller pitched in 570 games during his career, and pitched in 40 or more games six seasons. Feller also threw three no-hit games including the only opening day no-hitter in baseball history in 1940. He had 46 shutouts during his career with 10 of those in 1946. Many baseball historians have speculated that Feller would have won perhaps 350 games with well over 3,000 strikeouts had he not joined the military. He was honored as "The greatest pitcher of his time" by the Sporting News.

Barnstorming


Throughout his career, Feller criss-crossed the country playing exhibition games in the off-season, showcasing his legendary fastball for fans in large, medium and small towns. His barnstorming tours often featured other big leaguers and/or Negro League
Negro league baseball
The Negro leagues were United States professional baseball leagues comprising teams predominantly made up of African Americans. The term may be used broadly to include professional black teams outside the leagues and it may be used narrowly for the seven relatively successful leagues beginning in...

 stars, like Satchel Paige
Satchel Paige
Leroy Robert "Satchel" Paige was an American baseball player whose pitching in the Negro leagues and in Major League Baseball made him a legend in his own lifetime...

.

In 1947, Feller announced that he would pitch in the Cuban winter league
Cuban League
The Cuban League was one of the earliest and longest lasting professional baseball leagues outside of the United States, operating in Cuba from 1878 to 1961...

 during the off-season, but major league baseball commissioner Happy Chandler
Happy Chandler
Albert Benjamin "Happy" Chandler, Sr. was a politician from the US state of Kentucky. He represented the state in the U.S. Senate and served as its 44th and 49th governor. Aside from his political positions, he also served as the second Commissioner of Major League Baseball from 1945 to 1951 and...

 ruled that no major leaguer could play in Cuba during the winter.

Feller's barnstorming business savvy made him one of the wealthiest players of his time. As a result, Feller did not have to take off-season jobs to make ends meet, like many players of his era did, which allowed Feller to become a physical fitness pioneer. While other players waited until spring training to get in shape, Feller had the time to do push-ups, sit-ups, calisthenics and stretching, following a rigorous regimen.

In June 2009, at the age of 90, Feller was one of the starting pitchers at the inaugural Baseball Hall of Fame Classic, which replaces the Hall of Fame Game
Doubleday Field
Doubleday Field is a baseball stadium in Cooperstown, New York named for Abner Doubleday and located two city blocks from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.The grounds have been used for baseball since 1920, on what was Elihu Phinney's farm...

 at Cooperstown, New York
Cooperstown, New York
Cooperstown is a village in Otsego County, New York, USA. It is located in the Town of Otsego. The population was estimated to be 1,852 at the 2010 census.The Village of Cooperstown is the county seat of Otsego County, New York...

.

Final months


In August 2010, Feller was treated for leukemia
Leukemia
Leukemia or leukaemia is a type of cancer of the blood or bone marrow characterized by an abnormal increase of immature white blood cells called "blasts". Leukemia is a broad term covering a spectrum of diseases...

. In October, Feller was fitted with a pacemaker
Pacemaker
An artificial pacemaker is a medical device that uses electrical impulses to regulate the beating of the heart.Pacemaker may also refer to:-Medicine:...

 and was diagnosed with pneumonia
Pneumonia
Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition of the lung—especially affecting the microscopic air sacs —associated with fever, chest symptoms, and a lack of air space on a chest X-ray. Pneumonia is typically caused by an infection but there are a number of other causes...

 and thrush
Candidiasis
Thrush redirects here. For the hoof infection see Thrush .Candidiasis or thrush is a fungal infection of any of the Candida species , of which Candida albicans is the most common...

, an infection of the mucus membrane lining the mouth and throat. By December 8, he had been transferred from the Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland Clinic
The Cleveland Clinic is a multispecialty academic medical center located in Cleveland, Ohio, United States. The Cleveland Clinic is currently regarded as one of the top 4 hospitals in the United States as rated by U.S. News & World Report...

 to hospice care.

On December 15, Feller died of complications from leukemia.

Museum



The Bob Feller Museum opened in Van Meter, Iowa
Van Meter, Iowa
Van Meter is a city in Dallas County, Iowa, along the Raccoon River. The population was 866 at the 2000 census and is part of the Des Moines–West Des Moines Metropolitan Statistical Area....

, on June 10, 1995. Designed by Feller's son Stephen, an architect, on land donated by Brenton Banks, the museum has two rooms that contain Feller memorabilia and items from his own collection.

Highlights

  • Prior to his death, Feller was the longest tenured living Hall of Famer—that title now belongs to Stan Musial
    Stan Musial
    Stanley Frank "Stan" Musial is a retired professional baseball player who played 22 seasons in Major League Baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals . Nicknamed "Stan the Man", Musial was a record 24-time All-Star selection , and is widely considered to be one of the greatest hitters in baseball...

  • Winningest pitcher in Cleveland Indians history (266 victories)
  • Led league in wins six times (1939–41, 1946–47, 1951)
  • Led league in ERA
    Earned run average
    In baseball statistics, earned run average is the mean of earned runs given up by a pitcher per nine innings pitched. It is determined by dividing the number of earned runs allowed by the number of innings pitched and multiplying by nine...

     (1940)
  • Led league in strikeouts seven times (1938–41, 1946–48)
  • Pitched three no-hitters, including the only Opening Day no-hitter.
  • Only Chief Petty Officer
    Chief Petty Officer
    A chief petty officer is a senior non-commissioned officer in many navies and coast guards.-Canada:"Chief Petty Officer" refers to two ranks in the Canadian Navy...

     in United States Navy
    United States Navy
    The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

     history to be elected to a major sports Hall Of Fame.
  • Was a part of an Abbot and Costello routine that preceded Who's on First. What Feller. Feller with the Cleveland Indians. There are nine Fellers on the Cleveland Team. Now which Feller are you talking about?

Honors and awards

  • 8-time All-Star
    Major League Baseball All-Star Game
    The Major League Baseball All-Star Game, also known as the "Midsummer Classic", is an annual baseball game between players from the National League and the American League, currently selected by a combination of fans, players, coaches, and managers...

     (1938–41, 1946–48, 1950)
  • Inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.
  • In , Feller was ranked Number 36 on The Sporting News
    The Sporting News
    Sporting News is an American-based sports magazine. It was established in 1886, and it became the dominant American publication covering baseball — so much so that it acquired the nickname "The Bible of Baseball"...

    list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players.
  • Also in 1999, he was nominated as a finalist for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team
    Major League Baseball All-Century Team
    In 1999, the Major League Baseball All-Century Team was chosen by popular vote of fans. To select the team, a panel of experts first compiled a list of the 100 greatest Major League Baseball players from the past century...

    .
  • In 2010, the "Cleveland Indians Man of the Year Award" was re-named the "Bob Feller Man of the Year Award".

See also



External links


  • The Bob Feller Museum
  • Bob Feller at Find a Grave
    Find A Grave
    Find a Grave is a commercial website providing free access and input to an online database of cemetery records. It was founded in 1998 as a DBA and incorporated in 2000.-History:...