Opening Day no-no thrower Bob Feller became the first player to enlist in the military after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, 78 years ago today.
Feller, who had just completed a 25-13 season — the third straight in which he led the league in victories — enlisted in the U.S. Navy as a chief boatswain’s mate just two days after the Pearl Harbor attack. He entered service three days later and reported to the Naval Training Center in Norfolk, Virginia.
In Feller’s first start back in the majors on Aug. 24, 1945, Feller threw a complete game four-hitter as the Cleveland Indians topped the Detroit Tigers 4-2. He went on to throw two more no-hitters, tying Larry Corcoran and Cy Young for a major league career record that held until 1965, when Sandy Koufax threw his fourth no-no.
Feller died of leukemia in 2010 at the age of 92.
HOF Bob Feller was a true patriot.
Certainly an amazing athlete as well.
It makes you wonder what his career would have looked like statistically if he had not enlisted in WWII and barnstormed as much as he did in the off season…
One thing for sure, Rapid Robert was a go-getter in every sense of the word.
He attacked life! RIP Mr. Feller