Hall Of Fame Pitcher Bob Feller Dies - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Hall Of Fame Pitcher Bob Feller Dies

CLEVELAND (AP) - Bob Feller, the Iowa farm boy whose powerful

right arm earned him the nickname "Rapid Robert" and made him one

of baseball's greatest pitchers during a Hall of Fame career with

the Cleveland Indians, has died. He was 92.

Feller died at 9:15 p.m. on Wednesday night of acute leukemia at

a hospice, said Bob DiBiasio, the Indians vice president of public

relations.

Remarkably fit until late in life, Feller had suffered serious

health setbacks in recent months. He was diagnosed with a form of

leukemia in August, and while undergoing chemotherapy, he fainted

and his heart briefly stopped. Eventually, he underwent surgery to

have a pacemaker implanted.

In November, he was hospitalized with pneumonia and Feller was

recently released into hospice care.

Even as his health deteriorated, Feller continued doing what he

loved most - attending Indians games deep into last season.

"Nobody lives forever and I've had a blessed life," Feller

said in September. "I'd like to stay on this side of the grass for

as long as I can, though. I'd really like to see the Indians win a

World Series."

Feller, in fact, was part of the rotation the last time the

Indians won it all - in 1948.

Fiercely proud and patriotic, Feller was an American original.

He won 266 games during 18 seasons - all with the Indians, who

brought him up to the majors as a 17-year old. Feller's win total

remains a Cleveland team record, one that seems almost untouchable

in today's free-agent era.

Feller was part of a vaunted Indians' rotation in the 1940s and

'50s with fellow Hall of Famers Bob Lemon and Early Wynn. He

finished with 2,581 career strikeouts, led the American League in

strikeouts seven times, pitched three no-hitters - including the

only one on opening day - and recorded a jaw-dropping 12

one-hitters.

His numbers would no doubt have been even greater had his career

not been interrupted by World War II.

The first pitcher to win 20 games before he was 21, Feller was

enshrined in Cooperstown in 1962, his first year of eligibility.

The Indians retired his No. 19 jersey in 1957 and immortalized

the greatest player in franchise history with a statue when they

opened their downtown stadium in 1994. The sculpture is vintage

Feller, captured forever in the middle of his patented windmill

windup, rearing back to fire another pitch.

 

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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