This guy was amazing.
Granted, he was on the very edge of what could be considered My Generation.
But I didn’t want Bob to be left out.
In 12 games that he pitched, he allowed only one hit; twelve one-hitters. Obviously, he was one pitch away from making those 12 one-hitters into no-hitters. Those would have been added to his 3 no-hitters. That would have been a total of 15 no hit ballgames. Sheesh.
This paragraph, copied from Wikipedia sort of says it all:
On Opening Day of the 2011 season, the Indians invited Feller’s widow, Anne, to present a silent first pitch. During pregame introductions, Cleveland players wore a No. 19 jersey in honor of Feller. For the entire 2011 season the players’ uniforms were outfitted with an outline of Feller’s pitching motion. The organization also made a permanent memorial of the press-box seat that Feller used in later life.
Obviously this guy could pitch. Cleveland has never had a lot of heroes, and certainly it is hard to find anyone with a greater Cleveland story than Bob Feller.
Feller was elected to the Hall of Fame on the first ballot. He was named on more ballots than all but 3 other major league players, ever. He was named in the top 40 baseball players of all time by the Sporting News list in 1999. One can only imagine that his 266 career victories could only have been so much greater had he not missed 4 full seasons during World War II. Sheesh.
So, maybe everyone west of Cleveland, and south of Cleveland and north of Cleveland, and younger than 60 years old have never heard of Bob Feller.
But SSOMG remembers Bob. He retired in 1955. SSOMG was only 2 at the time and never saw Bob in action, or saw his name in a box score. But if you read the reports and believe the stories, Bob Feller was truly one of the greats.
Maybe someday I will go to Cleveland and see a game or, more likely maybe not.
But I remember the stories I have read about Bob. It seems like he played in those dark days, before the 1960’s the era that seems so much brighter.
SSOMG certainly hopes to see much brighter days ahead for professional baseball. I guess we will see…and hopefully soon.