Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Cleveland Indians' Bob Feller Tosses Third No-Hitter

On July 1, 1951, Cleveland Indians ace Bob Feller set a major league baseball record when he pitched his third no-hitter of his career.
Bob Feller before his first no-hitter on Opening Day in 1940.
The no-hitter came in a 2-1 victory over the Detroit Tigers. Feller's third no-hitter tied Larry Corcoran and Cy Young for the most no-hitters recorded his history. However, he would be passed up by Nolan Ryan (7) and Sandy Koufax (4). Feller still has the third most no-hitters of all time with three.
Over his 18-year career Feller, nicknamed “The Heater from Van Meter” put up some great numbers. He totaled 266 wins with just 162 losses while sporting a 3.25 ERA and an amazing 2,581 strikeouts to just 1,764 walks. In 570 games he tossed 279 complete games and 44 shutouts, to go along with his three no-hitters.
One thing that makes Feller career unique to current-day pitchers is that during his prime of his career, at a spry 23 years old he went off to war, defending the United States of America in the World War II from 1942-1945.
Bob Feller during his second no-hitter against the New York Yankees.
Despite leaving for World War II, Feller didn’t miss a beat when he came back to baseball. In 1946 he earned his fourth of six American League Wins Championship award (1939-1941, 1946-1947, 1951), and his fourth of seven AL Strikeouts Championship awards (1938-1941, 1946-1948), he was nominated an All-Star for the fourth time, in eight career appearances (1938-1941, 1946-1948, 1950). Feller’s 348 strikeouts in 1946 would be the highest total in all of MLB until 1965 when Bob Gibson surpassed the remarkable total.
Feller also won the pitching Triple Crown in 1940, having the most wins (27), lowest ERA (2.61) and the most strikeouts (261). In 1948 Feller and his “Tribe” of Cleveland Indians won the World Series, the only victory in the Fall Classic during his career.
In 1956, just days after his retirement the Cleveland Indians retired his No. 19 jersey.
In 1962 Feller was inducted into Cooperstown baseball Hall of Fame with 93.8 percent of the ballot, the first in which he appeared on. At the time of his induction only three players gathered a higher percentage on the ballot of votes.
Despite his elustrious career with numerous awards and feats, Feller estimated that military service cost him at least 100 career wins. Also based on his exceptional 1941 and 1946 seasons, it is likely that Feller would have finished his career with more than 300 wins and perhaps 3,800 strikeouts. Feller said "I know in my heart I would have ended up a lot closer to 400 than 300 if I hadn't spent four seasons in the Navy. But don't take that as a complaint. I'm happy I got home in one piece."
The Bob Feller museum.
The Bob Feller Museum opened in Van Meter, Iowa, on June 10, 1995. Designed by Feller's son Stephen, on land donated by Brenton Banks, the museum has two rooms that contain Feller memorabilia and items from his own collection. The Feller bat used by Babe Ruth when he made his last public appearance at Yankee Stadium is at the museum. Feller said a teammate had stolen the bat and eventually it was purchased by the sports card company Upper Deck for $107,000. Feller later offered the company $95,000 in return for the bat
Feller died at the age of 92 in 2010.
On Opening Day of the 2011 season, the Indians invited Feller's widow, Anne, to present a silent first pitch. During pregame introductions, Cleveland players wore a No. 19 jersey in honor of Feller. For the entire 2011 season the players' uniforms were outfitted with an outline of Feller's pitching motion. The organization also made a permanent memorial of the press-box seat that Feller used in later life.