Bob Feller (The Heater) RememberedBaseball legend and all-time great pitcher Bob Feller died of acute leukemia Wednesday evening. He was 92.
Feller will be remembered as the greatest Cleveland Indians player of all time, as well as a war hero and a beloved community member.
In 18 seasons—all with the Tribe—Feller won 266 games with a 3.25 ERA and 2,581 strikeouts, despite missing parts of four seasons in his prime to fight in World War II. He led the league in wins (including 27 victories in 1940) and strikeouts (peaking at 348 in 1946) seven times each. He also led the league in innings pitched five times, topping 295 innings each time, including an amazing 371.1 innings in 1946.
Feller’s most unique distinction is that he was the only pitcher ever to throw an Opening Day no-hitter. On April 16, 1940, the Chicago White Sox became the only team in MLB history to have their entire lineup’s batting averages after the game stay the same as they were before.
Even in his later years, “Rapid Robert” was a visible member of the Cleveland Indians community. Just nine months ago, he threw out the first pitch at an Indians Spring Training game:
The “Heater from Van Meter” appeared at Progressive Field just four months ago for Kenny Lofton’s induction to the Cleveland Indians Hall of Fame. During the ceremony, Tom Hamilton called the Feller the “greatest right-handed pitcher of all time.”
Feller was an amazing player and an unforgettable person. The city, the league, and the country have suffered a great loss tonight. Our thoughts go out to his family.
Rest in peace, Bob.