Me Thoughts: Bob Feller

The saddest part of Bob Feller’s passing is that he outlived many of the people who seen him play and understood his greatness.  Not only was he a great player, but also was a World War II veteran and a loyal Indians and baseball ambassador.

Bob Feller supported the only baseball team he played for and probably was around for 75 opening day games. Being part of the Cleveland Indians was important to him, just as being part of baseball was important to him.

A true rarity in these times.

As he grew older, he could at times say things that got under people’s skin.  But there was always honesty and conviction behind those statements. You may have disagreed with him but you certainly knew he believed what he said.

Also a rarity.

I had the good fortune to speak to Mr. Feller for a few brief minutes. I told him I wished I seen him play and thanked him for his military service.* I told him I was working on a book about pitching and if he would show me how he held his curveball. He was nice enough to show me* and then asked me “Who the best pitcher ever was?”.  I smiled and said “Mel Harder, the guy that helped you with your curveball grip.”  Mr. Feller replied with “And he should be in the Hall of Fame.”

* My father served in the military, so I always thought it was neat when professional athletes served. Since Bob Feller this his military services was his greatest accomplishment, you can be sure I was going to thank him for it.

I doubt there will ever be another athlete like Bob Feller, but there should be.

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