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Baseball: He Was Quite a Feller

Baseball: He Was Quite a Feller
November 16
09:36 2021

He Was Quite a Feller

Bob Feller

There was a time when “Rapid Robert” was the king of Cleveland.

Today his name seldom comes up when fans talk about baseball’s greatest pitchers, but there was a time when Bob Feller was recognized one of the best ever. Sports Illustrated once ranked him as the 36th greatest ballplayer ever.

Feller’s rise to stardom was meteoric. It started when he was just 17 – and still in high school. In his first start in the Major Leagues – in 1936 – Feller fanned an incredible 15 batters, the record for a pitcher making his debut start. And it wasn’t a fluke. Three weeks later he tied Dizzy Dean’s all-time record of 17 K’s in a game!

In 1938 he would set the record by whiffing 18 Detroit Tigers in a game.

What did his contemporaries think of him? The Splendid Splinter, Ted Williams, said Feller was the fastest pitcher he ever faced. Stan “The Man” Musial agreed, calling Feller the greatest pitcher of his era. Feller’s fastball was “inhuman,” according to Joe DiMaggio.

 Feller won 266 games during his 18-year career – and left a lot of “What If …” questions.

Feller spent more than four years in the military during what should have been the prime of his career. Just giving him a modest 20 extra wins a year easily pushes him into the exclusive 300-win Club.

And that’s a modest addition. Feller was the first player to win 24 games in a season before the age of 21. He also notched a 27-win year in 1940.

Feller started off 1940 by throwing the only Opening Day no-hitter in Major League history. In fact Feller would throw three career no-hitters and 12 one-hitters during his career – both records at the time.

He led Cleveland to a World Series title in 1948 and a then-record 111 wins in 1954. The Indians lost that series to Willie Mays and the New York Giants.)

Bob Feller was a first ballot Hall of Famer in 1962. He died at age 92 in 2010.

Baseball: He Was Quite a Feller - overview

Summary: Baseball: He Was Quite a Feller


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