Navy WWII veteran and baseball Hall of Famer, Bob Feller, dies at 92
Bob FellerHis service in the Navy prevented him from achieving what is considered as the “traditional standards of pitching greatness”: winning 300 games, or striking out 3,000 batters. He finished his career with 266 victories and 2,581 strikeouts, but he was remembered as saying: “I’m not too much concerned about my baseball career… I want to be remembered as a good American citizen, who enjoyed baseball and farming with his dad. And when it was time to fish or cut bait, I signed up two days after the attack on Pearl Harbor.”
Feller said further: “The survivors didn’t win the war, the heroes did — the dead ones… The 460,000 that we lost were the ones who won the war. If you were lucky enough not to meet a bullet with your name on it, you came home. If you did meet one, then you didn’t.”
Feller served on the battleship Alabama, an earned eight battle stars. It is said that if he had not served in the Navy, he might have won as many as 350 games.
He hailed from Van Meter, Iowa, and was once the most dominant right-handed pitcher in the major leagues, during the 1930s until the 1950s. He is best known for his curveball, which hitters reportedly feared and caused them to freeze. He died of acute leukemia on December 15, at the age of 92.