The National Baseball Hall of Fame Remembers Bob Feller

Hall of Fame Pitcher Passed Away Wednesday night

December 16, 2010
Bob Feller was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962. (National Baseball Hall of Fame Library)

"Cooperstown is the greatest place on earth."
- Bob Feller

Bob Feller's Hall of Fame plaque (elected, 1962)

Robert William Andrew Feller

Cleveland A.L. 1936 to 1941

1945 to 1956

Pitched 3 no-hit games in the A.L., 12 one hit
games.
Set modern strikeout record with 18 in a
game, 348 for season.
Led A.L. in victories 6
(one tie)seasons.
Lifetime record: Won 266,
lost 162, P.C. .621. E.R. average 3.25,
struckout 2,581.

Bob Feller Bio

Born: Nov. 3, 1918 at Van Meter, Iowa

Height: 6-0 Weight: 185

Batted right and threw right

When Bob Feller said of his pitching, "I just reared back and let them go," he accurately described his blazing fastball. "Rapid Robert" set the standard for generations of future fireballers. During his 18-year career, spent entirely with the Cleveland Indians, Feller amassed 266 victories, leading the league in wins six times and strikeouts seven. After enlisting in the Navy in 1941, Feller missed nearly four full seasons to serve the country. As a Navy gun captain, he earned five campaign ribbons studded with eight battle stars. Feller authored three no-hitters and 12 one-hitters, winning 20 or more games six times.

Remembering Bob Feller

"We are all saddened to hear of the passing of Bob Feller. He represented the National Baseball Hall of Fame longer than any individual in history, as 2011 would have been his 50th year as a Hall of Fame member. No one loved coming back to Cooperstown more than Bob, which he and Anne did often. Bob was a wonderful ambassador for the Hall of Fame, always willing to help the Museum. Watching him pitch just shy of his 91st birthday at the Hall of Fame Classic in Cooperstown will be a memory that we will always treasure. He will always be missed." – Jane Forbes Clark, Hall of Fame Chairman of the Board

"The Baseball Hall of Fame has lost an American original – there will never be anyone quite like Bob Feller ever again. He was truly larger than life – baseball's John Wayne – coming out of the Iowa cornfields to the major leagues at age 17 and then dominating for two decades. Bob loved being a member of Baseball's Hall of Fame, but he was most proud of his service as a highly decorated soldier in the Navy in the Pacific during World War II. He reached the pinnacle of individual achievement in 1962, earning enshrinement in Cooperstown, spending more than half his life as a Hall of Fame member. He probably flew more miles, signed more autographs, met more people and visited more places than anyone, a testament to his ceaseless zest for life, baseball and country. Cooperstown will never be the same without Rapid Robert. – Jeff Idelson, Hall of Fame President

QUOTES ABOUT BOB FELLER

"Bob was just a regular, solid person. He was the same guy, all the time. He gave his opinions and he said what he thought. He didn't hedge around anything. He was one of the top pitchers I saw in my time. He was timed at 100 miles per hour and he had a real good curve ball. You had to always be alert with him. He was a real competitor." – Bobby Doerr, HOF Class of 1986 and the oldest living Hall of Fame player

"I really enjoyed Bob's company, and hearing his stories about history – from baseball to war and everything else, from out of the cornfields to the major leagues. He did so much for baseball and had so many great stories, particularly about barnstorming and his memories of players like Cool Papa Bell and Satchel Paige. I was very fond of Bob. I traveled to his Museum in Van Meter to support his Museum. I consider Bob a great American." – Gaylord Perry, HOF Class of 1991

"The passing of Bob Feller is a great loss for the game of baseball. Clearly Bob was one of the greatest pitchers in history and anyone who knew him understood that he was one of the game's great personalities as well. That said, baseball didn't define Bob. His service to our country is something that he was very proud of and something we are all grateful for. Bob lived an incredible life, and he will be missed." – Cal Ripken, HOF Class of 2007

"I am deeply sorry to hear of the passing of Bob Feller. He was baseball's top power pitcher of the 1940's and 1950's and was a source of inspiration for all Americans for his service during World War II. He was a true Hall of Famer." – Nolan Ryan, HOF Class of 1999

"Bob was truly a great American and a great ambassador for the game of baseball." – Dennis Eckersley, HOF Class of 2004 

"First he was a hero of mine. He was a true American patriot. His service to the US Navy will always be remembered. He was a true friend and gentleman. He will be missed not only in baseball, but by all that knew him." - Phil Niekro, HOF Class of 1997 

"I had the pleasure of knowing Bob personally through the years, especially when I became a member of the fraternity of Baseball's Hall of Fame. Bob invited me to his museum in Iowa, which I had the pleasure of seeing first hand. To actually see his accomplishments makes you appreciate what a great legend he was. He not only represented his country in the war and was honored as a soldier, but he was a great ambassador for the game of baseball. He always represented the Cleveland Indians organization and held it in the highest regard. He was a great man, and he will be truly missed. He will always be remembered as one of the immortals." - Gary Carter, HOF Class of 2003

"The beautiful blustery Bob. He would talk more of his serving his country than baseball. Think about it, he gave up baseball in his prime and did it proudly. He made the Hall of Fame easily and his legend would have been even greater. Thank you, Bob, for the time you gave both on and off the field! You will be missed. May we all live to your ripe old age and standards." - Johnny Bench, HOF Class of 1989

 "I'm saddened to hear about the passing of Bob Feller. I had great admiration for him. He was a wonderful guy, and a great American who served his country with honor. I always admired his work ethic. I got to know Bob really well over the years. I'm going to sorely miss him." - Harmon Killebrew, HOF Class of 1984

"It is a sad day. It meant a lot for me to get to know Bob over the years and since becoming a Hall of Famer. I think of him first and foremost as a great American, and of all the sacrifices he made for our country. No question, we know his baseball legacy speaks for itself, but it goes way beyond that. We'll miss him." - Paul Molitor, HOF Class of 2004

"I had a chance to face Bob in the Classic two years ago at Doubleday Field. He said to me, 'no bunting, no line drives up the middle,' and I told him, 'no 102 mile-per-hour fastballs.'" - Paul Molitor, HOF Class of 2004

QUOTES FROM BOB FELLER

"A baseball life is short. You're out of the game much longer than you are in it, and you have to prepare yourself for that time."

"(My father) made a home plate in the yard, and I'd throw to him over it. He even built me a pitching rubber. When I was 12, we built a ball field on our farm. We fenced off the pasture, put up the chicken wire and the benches and even a little grandstand behind first base. We formed our own team and played other teams from the around the community on weekends."

"I think it takes more ability to be a complete ballplayer than it does to play any major sports that I know of. Good reflexes, good eye, good coordination. You'd better have them."

On the web: Visit http://baseballhall.org/news/museum-news/loss-legend to view Bob Feller's Hall of Fame Induction Speech, a video tribute and his Hall of Fame plaque.

Coming this afternoon: The Hall of Fame will release comments from Hall of Famers regarding Bob Feller's passing.