"Rapid Robert" Bob Feller Dies at 92

Michael Santo's picture

Baseball Hall of Famer Bob Feller, whose fastball earned him the nickname "Rapid Robert," has died at the age of 92.

In August, it was reported that the former Cleveland Indian was battling leukemia. More recently, Bob Feller was hospitalized with pneumonia before finally being moved to a Cleveland-area hospice.

Bob Feller pitched 18 seasons in the major leagues, despite losing three years to World War II. He enlisted on Dec. 8, 1941, he was reportedly the first major league baseball player to enlist after the Pearl Harbor attack. His career record was 266-162, with an overall ERA of 3.25, and 2,581career strikeouts.

Bob Feller was an eight-time All-Star, and won the World Series with the Indians in 1948. That was the last time that the Indians won the World Series, though Feller himself lost both his starts. Feller was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1962.

Although he eventually became a pitcher, not just a thrower, he was wild at first, with 208 walks in 1938. Bob Feller admitted as such, saying in a famous quote that "I didn’t know much. I just reared back and let them go. Where the ball went was up to heaven.’’

Bob Feller was considered part of the Indians family, even to this day. In a statement, Indians owner Larry Dolan said, "Bob Feller is gone. We cannot be surprised. Yet, it seems improbable. Bob has been such an integral part of our fabric, so much more than an ex-ballplayer, so much more than any Cleveland Indians player. He is Cleveland, Ohio. To say he will be missed is such an understatement. More to the point, he will not be missed because he will always be with us."

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