Bob Feller: 1918-2010

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Sad news out of Iowa tonight.

Keith Murphy of WHO in Des Moines passes along word that Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Feller has died at the age of 92 in a Cleveland hospice.

Feller was hospitalized with pneumonia a few weeks ago and previously fought a battle against leukemia.

Born November 3, 1918 in the small farming town of Van Meter, Iowa, he went on to win 266 games over 18 big league seasons — all with the Indians.   He retired after 1956 with a sparkling 3.25 career ERA and 2,581 strikeouts.

Feller struck out 348 batters and turned in a 2.18 ERA over 371.1 innings in 1946, his finest season.

But it was in 1941 that he made his biggest splash.

After Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, Feller became the first Major League Baseball player to enlist in the armed forces, joining the NAVY and serving as a gun captain on the USS Alabama during what might have been the prime of his baseball career.  He served four years and was decorated with five campaign ribbons and eight stars throughout his military service.

Feller was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.