17-year-old Bob Feller makes his first major league start
Most 17-year-olds start their senior year of high school at the end of August. But Bob Feller had a date with Major League Baseball.
On Aug. 23, 1936, while his friends back home in Van Meter, Iowa, were headed back to school, Feller took the mound against the St. Louis Browns. At just 17-years-old, it was Feller’s seventh MLB appearance and his first start of his illustrious 18-year career with the Cleveland Indians.
Feller didn’t just start the game; he dominated the game, fanning 15 Browns on his way to a 4-1 victory over St. Louis. The “Heater from Van Meter,” as he came to be known, was just starting to earn his keep.
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“He was perfect,” Indians manager Steve O’Neil said after the game.
But before Feller took the mound that day, his manager was worried. O’Neil was urged to start Feller, against his judgment, by Indians general manager Cy Slapnicka.
Cady Lowery was a public relations intern in the Hall of Fame’s Frank and Peggy Steele Internship Program for Youth Leadership Development