Bob Feller (November 3, 1918 – December 15, 2010) who was nicknamed “The Heater from Van Meter“, “Bullet Bob“, and “Rapid Robert“….who was an American baseball pitcher who played 18 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Cleveland Indians….where Feller pitched from 1936 to 1941 and from 1945 to 1956….which was interrupted only by a four-year engagement in the Navy. In a career spanning 570 games, Feller pitched 3,827 innings and posted a win–loss record of 266–162, with 279 complete games, 44 shutouts, and a 3.25 earned run average (ERA).
A prodigy who bypassed the minor leagues….Feller first played for the Indians at the age of 17….when his career was interrupted by four years of military service in World War II….during which time he served as Chief Petty Officer aboard the USS Alabama. Feller became the first pitcher to win 24 games in a season before the age of 21. During his career, he threw no-hitters in 1940, 1946, and 1951….while recording 12 one-hitters….which were both records at the time of his retirement. He helped the Indians win a World Series title in 1948….along with an American League-record 111 wins and the pennant in 1954. Feller led the American League in wins six times and seven time in strikeouts. In 1946, he recorded 348 strikeouts, a total not exceeded for 19 years….and as an eight-time All-Star was ranked 36th on Sporting News‘s list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players…. and was named the publication’s “greatest pitcher of his time”. He was a finalist for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team in 1999.
Baseball Hall of Fame member Ted Williams called Feller “the fastest and best pitcher I ever saw during my career.”….whereas Hall of Famer Stan Musial believed he was “probably the greatest pitcher of our era.” He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962 on his first ballot appearance….when at the time only three players ever had a higher percentage of ballot votes. He was elected the inaugural President of the Major League Baseball Players’ Association….while participating in exhibition games which featured players from both the Major and Negro Leagues. Feller died at the age of 92 in 2010.
Joe DiMaggio (November 25, 1914 – March 8, 1999), nicknamed “Joltin’ Joe“ and “The Yankee Clipper“….was an American baseball center fielder who played his entire 13-year career in Major League Baseball for the New York Yankees….and is widely considered one of the greatest baseball players of all time….who was perhaps best known for his 56-game hitting streak (May 15 – July 16, 1941), a record that still stands in 2019.
DiMaggio was a three-time Most Valuable Player Award winner….and an All-Star in each of his 13 seasons….who during his tenure with the Yankees….was part of ten American League pennants teams….and nine World Series championships teams.
At the time of his retirement after the 1951 season…he ranked fifth in career home runs (361) and sixth in career slugging percentage (.579). He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955, and was voted the sport’s greatest living player in a poll taken during the baseball centennial year of 1969. His brothers Vince (1912–1986) and Dom (1917–2009) also were major league center fielders.
Joe DiMaggio is widely known for his marriage and lifelong devotion to Marilyn Monroe.