Current Video:Morosi: Remembering Feller|
FOXSports.com's Jon Paul Morosi talks about the passing of the legendary Bob Feller.
Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
This -- Palmer -- reporting for foxsports.com. On Wednesday night America lost a great Patriot. Who happened to be one of the finest pitchers who ever lived. He was decorated as a ballplayer. He was decorated as the chief petty officer in the United States navy. He earned two lifetimes of accolades. All by the age of 26. And yet Bob -- didn't lose his fastball until the very end when he succumb to leukemia at the age of 92. Feller was up folk hero with a light story so rich in Americana. That it sounds like it came from fiction. He grew up on a farm in Iowa that is now listed on the national register of historic places. He'd beat you with the Cleveland Indians at seventeen. Before he would even graduated from high school. He never spent a day in the minor leagues. Rapid Roberts -- set to nationwide fame came so quickly. That is high school graduation. Would broadcast nationally on NBC radio. It is significant in the US and Major League Baseball. Can best be described. By examining the circumstances of his life on December 8 1941. He would just celebrated his 23 birthday. It was already a baseball legend. In the three previous seasons he had averaged. 25 wins per year. During each of those years it'll lead the American League in wins. It is strikeouts. And it innings pitched. Yet on that day. He became the first active major leaguer to -- -- in the US navy after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. And he did not hesitate in doing so. Two years ago John -- of the Detroit Free Press pass Feller in an interview if it was difficult to put his career on hold. It is such uncertain times. It wasn't difficult at all -- told them. My mom and dad worked exactly thrilled but I already made my decision back in 1939. I requested that I go to war college and that I go on some sort of chip that would be fighting in combat Feller did. He helped the US navy retake the Pacific and with the war. As a result he didn't pitch in 1942. Or 1943. -- 1944. Any barely pitched in 1945. It yet here where his numbers in 1946. 26 wins in my career high 371. And 13 innings. As a career high. 348. Strikeouts like Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams. We will never know what -- numbers might have looked like it war hadn't intervened. During what should have been the prime years of his career. Still. You're saying the indians' all time leader in wins. Hitting is starts in strikeouts. Indeed it was easily elected to the Hall of Fame is first time on the ballot in 1962. -- remained eminently approachable in the final years of his life. Mid summer night you could by the with the press box at Jacobs Field watching your beloved Indians. I don't remember meeting him there shaking that magical right hand as he watched the game from the second row. In the years since I was a million -- the fact that I can walk up to a man of such historical significance. And say. Well mr. -- on a personal note I can't think of the sport's bigger that I respected more. That may have something to do with the fact that -- brought in many of the same naval battle as my own grandfather. What this country needed him Bob -- did his duty. But he came back it is harder and better than just about anyone who picked up a baseball. As America legacies go that far apart from Iowa did pretty well for himself.