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RIP Bob Feller


Moose Milligan

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Just saw it on ESPN.

Lost a great one...not only a fantastic pitcher, but a war veteran as well....RIP, Rapid Robert.

Knew he was in Hospice, sad to see him go. He was one of the players mentioned in the episode of Abbot and Costello that feature Who's on First.

RIP Mr. Feller.

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RIP Bob. What a great pitcher he was. Read about how as a semi pro at the age of 16 he struck out a bunch of big stars from that time. A guy I would have loved to see pitch and a war hero as well. I think he was one of the first big name MLB stars to enlist following PEarl Harbor and he saw combat too.

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A True Legend; he was the first Major League Baseball player to enlist in the armed forces.

Feller struck out 348 batters and turned in a 2.18 ERA over 371.1 innings in 1946, his finest season.

But it was in 1941 that he made his biggest splash.

After Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, Feller became the first Major League Baseball player to enlist in the armed forces, joining the NAVY and serving as a gun captain on the USS Alabama during what might have been the prime of his baseball career. He served four years and was decorated with five campaign ribbons and eight stars throughout his military service.

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A true gentleman of the game, one of many that gave up playing the game they loved, and their profession, to admirably and bravely serve their country in a time of need. Truly one of the greatest men, and pitchers, that baseball has ever seen. I admittedly wasn't up to date on how good he really was, but had he not missed all those years to service, he would have easily won anywhere from 300-325 games.

RIP

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Here's what I posted in the hospice thread about his service, with context clarifications in brackets:

Yes he was [the first MLB player to enlist after Pearl Harbor], and he did [see combat], on the battleship USS Alabama. After participating in a diversionary tactic near Norway, the Alabama went to the Pacific theater and saw quite a bit of action supporting both Marine landings and air strikes (quite successfully too--"The Lucky A" was never once damaged by enemy fire and her only casualties occurred in a friendly fire accident).

He is the only Chief Petty Officer in the Hall of Fame. RIP, Chief Feller.

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As I said in the hospice thread, he was incredibly sharp and vital even at age 90. He was on the MASN broadcast for an innings two years ago, and I turned it on in the middle and was trying to figure out who the broadcast team was interviewing. I could tell it was someone who played a long time ago, but he was recalling events with great clarity and vigor. When I realized it was Bob Feller, I started doing the math in my head, and figured out that he had to be about 90 years old, which you never would have guessed from listening to the guy.

Feller was a big hero to my parents, who were teenagers/kids living in Akron, Ohio when Feller went off to war. RIP, Rapid Robert.

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<object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMPxpOapRuU?fs=1&hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMPxpOapRuU?fs=1&hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>

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Watching some of those videos, it's pretty neat that despite a ridiculous leg kick and throwing as hard as he did, he follows through into textbook fielding position most of the time and even when he doesn't, he never falls off toward first base.

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