Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Feller, who played his entire 18-season Major League Baseball career with the Cleveland Indians, died Wednesday night of acute leukemia in Cleveland, according to a statement from the team. He was 92.
Signed by the Indians at 17 in 1936, Feller overpowered batters with a fastball that could reach 100 mph and racked up 2,581 strikeouts and 266 wins by the time he retired in 1956. He had 19 wins in 1948, the last time the Indians won the World Series.
"Bob has been such an integral part of our fabric, so much more than an ex-ballplayer, so much more than any Cleveland Indians player. He is Cleveland, Ohio," Indians owner Larry Dolan said.
Feller was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in August and had a pacemaker implanted at the Cleveland Clinic in October, according to the Indians. He was hospitalized with pneumonia in mid-November.
World War II interrupted Fellerâ€™s baseball career for nearly four seasons, with Feller enlisting in the Navy the day after the December 7, 1941, Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. When once asked what the most important game he won was, he responded, â€śWorld War II,â€ť according to the Indians.
The Van Meter, Iowa, native had a lifetime ERA of 3.25, 44 shutouts and three no-hitters, including the only opening-day no-hitter in Major League Baseball history, in April 1940.FULL STORY