Major League Baseball lost one of its special people Wednesday night. 

Bob Feller lost his fight with Leukemia and has left the baseball world in mourning.  Feller was not only one of the all-time greatest pitchers, but a great man as well.

Feller, who pitched for the Cleveland Indians for 18 seasons, left baseball to go serve in the Navy during World War II in 1941 at the age of 23. Feller made the decision to join the Navy the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed and served for four years.

He became Crew Chief of the USS Alabama and five Campaign Ribbons and eight Battle Stars

Feller’s list of accomplishments in baseball is a very lengthy one.  The Hall of Famer finished his career with 266 wins, including 46 career shutouts. 

Feller was a part of the 1948 Indians team that defeated the Boston Braves in the World Series for Cleveland’s lone World Series title.  The Indians signed him when he was 17 years old out of Iowa for $75 a month with a signing bonus of $1 and an autographed Cleveland Indians baseball. 

In Feller’s first major league start in August of 1936, he struck out 15 St. Louis Browns.  A few weeks later, he struck out 17 Philadelphia A’s to tie the major-league record at the age of only 17.  In 1938, he broke that strikeout record by ringing-up 18 Detroit Tigers

That record stood until 1974, when it was broken by Nolan Ryan.

Feller won 20-plus games three seasons in a row, including 27 wins in 1940.  He was the first player to win 20 games before the age of 21.  Feller threw three no-hitters and 12 one-hitters. 

The fire-baller was said to have been clocked at 104 miles per hour.  He finished his career with 2,581 strikeouts.  Feller also led the American League in strikeouts seven times.

The Cleveland legend was an eight-time All-Star, led the American League in wins six times and pitched 279 complete games. 

The Indians retired his No. 19 jersey in 1957 and Feller was elected to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.  Feller is also enshrined outside of Jacobs Field in Cleveland in his patented windmill wind-up. 

“Rapid Robert” leaves us at the age of 92, but his memory will live on forever.

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