Bob Feller passes!

Discussion in 'Baseball' started by white is right, Dec 17, 2010.

  1. white is right

    white is right Hall of Famer

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    He is probably the first great high school pitching prospect. In today's era where everything is money. It's almost unbelievable that he would give up his career for his country but he did it for 4 years and when he came back he didn't lose a step. Here is USA TodayBob Feller: Hall of Fame storyteller to the end
    01:21 PM

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    Cleveland Indians legend Bob Feller, who died Wednesday night at 92, never stopped attending Tribe games and never tired of talking baseball with interested guests.

    USA TODAY sat with him for several innings during Stephen Strasburg's second major-league start last June at Progressive Field. Strasburg's velocity was all the buzz, so the conversation turned to Feller's speed. He is believed to have been the first pitcher ever to have his fastball scientifically clocked from the mound to the plate and he recounted the circumstances.

    It was August 1946, before modern radar. Promoters used a photo-electric cell device and clocked his pitches crossing the plate at 98.6 miles per hour. Modern radar guns register pitches leaving the pitcher's hand or just in front of the mound, so Feller's reading translated to 107.9 mph.

    "It was after the war. I was 27," Feller recalled. "Clark Griffith (Washington Senators' owner) thought it would be a good idea to draw people to the ballpark. He sold the ballpark out that night and I went out before (the game). I had to pitch that night.

    "They brought (the device) in from the Aberdeen (MD) Proving Grounds and put it right over home plate. Two photo-electric cells were about four feet apart -- what it checks is the muzzle velocity of the guns. It converted immediately to miles per hour."

    After the exhibition, in which he threw 30-40 pitches at top speed, Feller went out and pitched a complete game against the Senators (giving up three earned runs on six hits, but losing, according to baseball-reference.com).

    The World War II hero and baseball Hall of Famer was mentally sharp until the end and accurately recalled his then-record 18-strikeout game on Oct. 2, 1938 -- a month before his 20th birthday. Victim No. 18 was Tigers' centerfielder Chet Laabs, who struck out five times that afternoon.

    "He's the last hitter of the ballgame. I needed to strike him out to break the major-league record at that time," Feller recalled. "I get two strikes to him and the last pitch was a called third strike, so he yelled at the umpire, and the umpire said, 'You missed 14, I missed one.' "

    By Mike Dodd
     
  2. whiteCB

    whiteCB Master

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    The man amassed 266 career Wins and 2,581 Ks despite missing 4 years in his prime 20s to serve in WWII. His projected statistics if he had not missed 4 seasons are off the charts! He lived in Cleveland throughout his entire life after he retired and was a local icon. Look no further than the Michael Jordanesque Statue of Feller outside of Jacobs Field.

    RIP Rapid Robert
     
  3. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    Bob Feller was one of the last great players whose career beganin the Depression era to leave us. As with Ted Williams, there's no question that military service hurt his career numbers. Feller's W-L record the three years before he enlisted in WWII -- 24-9, 27-11, and 25-13.
    I remember reading about him as a kid and being in awe of his pitching prowess. He was an American original and didn't get the recognition he deserved later in life, but that's true of all White men in this society. RIP
     
  4. pt.guard

    pt.guard Newbie

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    He pitched in a time before they had radar guns, but most baseball historians think that he would have been timed at well over 100mph. RIP
     
  5. sport historian

    sport historian Master

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    I read Bob Feller's autobiography, "Strikeout Story," when I was about 12 years old. It was in the school library. I saw him in person in 1980 when he pitched in an old-timers game. It was in Nashville, TN. Bob Feller liked to appear at events like this at a minor-league ball park, I've read. He still had his pitching motion.
     
  6. DixieDestroyer

    DixieDestroyer Hall of Famer

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    Legend says Feller threw a fastball at 104 MPH. RIP to this baseball legend.



    Edited by: DixieDestroyer
     
  7. foreverfree

    foreverfree Mentor

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    I saw Feller one time myself, in 1983 at a Reading Phillies MiLB game my father (who himself died 2 months ago at 73) attended. Feller was signing autographs and my dad got one for a friend of his. At one point during the game he was introduced between innings.

    RIP Mr. Feller. Following Messrs. DiMag and Williams, your passing has left us with just one great phenom of the 1936-41 period, Mr. Musial (a PA native like me).

    John
     

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