Thursday, December 16, 2010
Rounding Third and Headed Home
Cleveland lost a sports icon. His name was Bob Feller. By most accounts, Bob was one of the best right hand pitchers to ever play the game. The only pitcher to ever pitch a no hitter on an opening day. Bob had three no hitters in his career. What astounds the baseball nerd in me - he pitched twelve one hit games. To have the mental where with all to not get rattled after giving up a hit, is quite the feat.
Bob's career was interrupted by World War II, and when he returned to the Cleveland Indians (the only team he ever played for), he was part of the last team to win the World Series for Cleveland in 1948. After he quit playing, he became one of the Tribe's biggest cheerleaders. He was a familiar face at spring training and games. He threw out the first pitch during the 1997 World Series at the age of 79. It was a strike.
A lot has been said about Bob today. The one phrase said over and over - a gentleman. In light of the recent uproar over a certain someone rebuking Cleveland and moving south, it is refreshing to hear of an athlete called a gentleman.
Bob's statue will stand guard at the entrance of Progressive Field and remind people at one time, they had one of the best in the game playing for them and oh yes, he was a gentleman, too.