Bob Feller was born on Sunday, November 3, 1918, in Van Meter, Iowa. Feller was 17 years old when he broke into the big leagues on July 19, 1936, with the Cleveland Indians. His biographical data, year-by-year hitting stats, fielding stats, pitching stats (where applicable), career totals, uniform numbers, salary data and miscellaneous items-of-interest are presented by Baseball Almanac on this comprehensive Bob Feller baseball stats page.
"I don't think anyone is ever going to throw a ball faster than he does," Joe DiMaggio was quoted as saying during his epic 1941 season, when he hit in a record 56 consecutive games. "And his curveball isn't human." - Sportswriter Richard Goldstein in the New York Times (12/15/2010, Bob Feller, Whose Fastball Dazzled, Dies at 92 , Source ) [ Bob Feller Quotes ]
Bob "Rapid Robert" Feller Autograph on a 1993 Topps Archive (#54)
Bob Feller Pitching Stats
Bob Feller Hitting Stats
Bob Feller Fielding Stats
Bob Feller Miscellaneous Stats
|Baserunning Statistics||Other Positions||Common Hitting Ratios||Common Pitching Ratios|
Bob Feller Miscellaneous Items of Interest
|Team [Click for Roster]||Uniform Numbers||Salary||All-Star||World Series|
|1936 Cleveland Indians||9||$675.00||-||-|
|1937 Cleveland Indians||14||$14,000.00||-||-|
|1938 Cleveland Indians||14||$22,500.00||Stats||-|
|1939 Cleveland Indians||19||$20,000.00||Stats||-|
|1940 Cleveland Indians||19||$32,500.00||Stats||-|
|1941 Cleveland Indians||19||$42,500.00||Stats||-|
|1945 Cleveland Indians||19||$10,000.00||n/a||-|
|1946 Cleveland Indians||19||$70,000.00||Stats||-|
|1947 Cleveland Indians||19||$80,000.00||Stats||-|
|1948 Cleveland Indians||19||$82,500.00||Stats||Stats|
|1949 Cleveland Indians||19||$70,000.00||-||-|
|1950 Cleveland Indians||19||$37,500.00||Stats||-|
|1951 Cleveland Indians||19||$37,500.00||-||-|
|1952 Cleveland Indians||19||$41,250.00||-||-|
|1953 Cleveland Indians||19||$32,500.00||-||-|
|1954 Cleveland Indians||19||$26,250.00||-||-|
|1955 Cleveland Indians||19||$25,500.00||-||-|
|1956 Cleveland Indians||19||$22,500.00||-||-|
|Bob Feller Stats by Baseball Almanac|
Did you know that Bob Feller was named one of the 100 Greatest Cleveland Indians Players ever? As part of the clubs 100th Anniversary Celebration in 2001, a panel of veteran baseball writers, historians and executives selected a roster of the Top 100 Greatest Indians and Feller was named one of the thirty-six pitchers.
Bob Feller pitched 12 one-hit games, pitched the first no-hitter on Opening Day (Comiskey Park against the Chicago White Sox, April 16, 1940 ), pitched the second no-hitter ever against the New York Yankees ( April 30, 1946 ) and pitched the third no-hitter against the Detroit Tigers ( July 1, 1951 ):
Bob Feller Biography
In the mid-thirties Bob Feller burst on the seen like a comet striking out major league hitters at an alarming rate while still in high school. He went on to set the standard for future power pitchers amassing single game and season whiff marks, while tossing a then record number of no hitters and one hitters.
The Indians signed Feller before the start of the 1936 season and "Rapid Robert" made his debut that year at 17 years of age. Although he won just five games Feller gave a hint of what was to come as he struck out 15 in his first pro start and in a later game tied Dizzy Dean's Major League one game high of 17 k's. Two years later Feller set a new record with 18, topped the American League in strikeouts for the first time with 240 and won 17 games. The drawback in his pitching was his wildness as he walked 204 but his control improved as his career moved along.
Feller then strung together three straight 20 win seasons beginning in 1939, attaining a career high of 27 victories in 1940 that included his first no hitter, and to this day baseball's lone Opening Day hitless pitching performance. He led the junior circuit in strikeouts all three years as well. Not only did Feller blow hitters away with a blazing fastball, his sharp breaking curve was considered untouchable when he had his control. Feller then joined the Navy which cost him just about four years of his career, but he served honorably earning numerous decorations.
In 1945 Feller returned to the Indians at the end of the season, and in 1946 he recaptured his place as one of the games greats by notching 26 wins and fanning what was then thought to be a record 348 batters (it was later determined that Rube Waddell had struck out 349 in 1904). He won 20 the following season then totaled 19 in 1948 as Cleveland won their first pennant since 1920. Feller lost a heart breaking 1-0 decision in the World Series Opener against the Braves and was shelled by Boston in Game Six. But the Indians won a decisive seventh game to claim the World's Championship.
Feller had one final big season winning a league high of 22 games in 1951. He ended his career in 1956 with 266 victories and 2581 lifetime strikeouts. Feller threw three no hitters, 12 one hitters and won 20 games six times. He led the American League in victories six seasons and finished first in strikeouts from 1937-41 and 1946-48. Feller was elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, the first pitcher to do so since Walter Johnson .
Bob Feller No Hitter #1 (Box Score: April 16, 1940 )
Bob Feller had become the ace of the Cleveland staff in 1939 and thus was chosen to pitch the opening game for the Indians in 1940, facing the Chicago White Sox and lefthander Edgar Smith on a cold Tuesday, April 16 , before 14,000 fans at Comiskey Park.
In the last of the first inning, Feller retired Bob Kennedy on a fly to right and Joe Kuhel on a called third strike. He walked Mike Kreevich but fanned Julius Solters to end the inning.
After Luke Appling took a third strike in the second, Taft Wright sent a short fly to center. Roy Weatherly misjudged it, then ran in, got both hands on the ball chest high but dropped it for an obvious error. Eric McNair fanned but Feller walked both Mike Tresh and Smith to load the bases.
Feller's wildness stemmed from the fact that he couldn't control his curve. From now on he used only his blazing fast ball, ending the inning by fanning Kennedy for his fifth strikeout.
Kuhel walked at the start of the third and stole second after Kreevich flied to right and Solters fouled to first. Appling hit one of the three hard hit balls by the Sox, a low liner straight to right fielder Ben Chapman. Wright began the fourth with another liner to right, but the White Sox did not hit another ball well until the ninth.
Feller fanned Smith at the start of the fifth and Solters with one out in the sixth on called third strikes. Larry Rosenthal, batting for Smith, led off the eighth with a slow bouncer that made second baseman Ray Mack hustle to throw him out. Kennedy flied to right and Kuhel became Feller's eighth and final strikeout victim.
In the ninth, Kreevich popped a 2-2 pitch to second and Solters hit an easy bouncer to short on the third pitch. With the fans rooting for Feller to complete his no-hitter, Appling came up. Luke, a real expert at fouling off pitches, had two strikes on him when he fouled off four pitches, several of them well-hit balls to right. On his 10th pitch to him, Feller finally issued his fifth walk.
Wright, who had been something of a nemesis to Feller thus far in his career, took the first pitch for a ball. On the next he swung hard and smashed a grounder to left of second baseman Mack. Ray knocked the ball down, pursued it back on the grass, recovered it and fired it to first in time for the out, ending the first opening day no-hitter in modern baseball.
The Indians scored the game's only run in the fourth against Smith when Jeff Heath grounded a single to left with one out and Rollie Hemsley tripled over Wright's head in right with two gone.
Feller finished the season with a 27-11 record.
Bob Feller No Hitter #2 (Box Score: April 30, 1946 )
Bob Feller, who had returned from service late the previous August, began the 1946 season with a three-hit, 1-0 victory, but lost his next two starts for Cleveland and some experts, particularly in New York, wrote that Bob was through as a top-flight pitcher.
This made Feller grimly determined when he took the mound against the New York Yankees before 37,144 fans at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday, April 30 . His rival was Floyd (Bill) Bevens, who came within one out of a World Series no-hitter the following season.
Feller was not impressive in the first inning. Phil Rizzuto led off with a sharp bounder to third. George Stirnweiss, the 1945 batting champion, bounced one through the box that appeared headed for center field, but shortstop Lou Boudreau came flashing across in front of the bag, scooped up the ball and fired to first as he fell headlong to the ground, just nipping the speedy Stirnweiss on a great play.
Tommy Henrich walked but Joe DiMaggio ended the inning with an easy bouncer to the mound.
Charlie Keller drew a walk at the start of the second but was nailed trying to steal second, and Nick Etten and Joe Gordon fanned. In the third, Bill Dickey led off with a walk. Bevens was a strikeout victim when he bunted foul on a third strike, and Rizzuto and Stirnweiss fanned.
For the third straight inning, Feller walked the leadoff man in the fourth. Henrich drew the pass and stole second, but DiMaggio popped to second, and Keller and Etten fanned. Gordon started the fifth with an easy fly to left, the first of two balls hit to the outfield by the Yanks. Dickey and Bevens struck out. Rizzuto drew Feller's fifth and final bases on balls to open the sixth and was sacrificed to second by Stirnweiss. Henrich fouled to catcher Frankie Hayes and DiMaggio sent an easy fly to center fielder Bob Lemon, who later that year became a pitcher and hurled a no-hitter himself in 1948.
In the seventh, Keller lifted a high pop which first baseman Les Flemming lost in the sun, then grabbed at the last second. Etten fanned and Gordon grounded to third. Boudreau threw out Dickey at the start of the eighth. Bevens fanned for Feller's 11th and final strikeout. Rizzuto popped a foul to third which Keltner dropped for an error, then grounded one to the third baseman's left. Keltner could not reach it but Boudreau raced to his right, fielded the ball and threw to first to nip Rizzuto by half a step for the second fine fielding play of the game, both by Manager Boudreau.
Bevens had blanked the Indians on five singles for eight innings. In the ninth, after Boudreau fouled out, Hayes sent a long drive into the left field stands for a homer and the run that Feller needed.
The crowd was rooting for Feller when the last of the ninth began. Stirnweiss led off and bunted on straight to Fleming, but the first baseman fumbled it for an error. Henrich sacrificed Stirnweiss to second with a bunt to third, and Feller was in a spot. He had to face the Yanks' best, DiMaggio and Keller. A hit would not only spoil his no-hitter but also tie or possibly win the game.
Feller worked the count to 3-2 on DiMaggio, the got him to ground slowly to short for an easy out. But the tying run was now on third. The park was a madhouse as the righthander blazed two fast balls past Keller for called strikes. The next pitch was a high fast ball. Then, Feller threw his slider. Keller swung and grounded to second. Ray Mack came in for the ball but, in his anxiety, slipped and fell to his hands and knees. He got up and threw Keller out easily to end the game.
Feller, who set a record this season with 348 strikeouts, finished with a 26-15 mark, including his second no-hitter of his career.
Bob Feller No Hitter #3 (Box Score: July 1, 1951
Bob Feller, who had not won 20 games in a season since 1947, had taken 10 of his first 12 decisions in 1951 when he took the mound for a fourth-place Cleveland Indians in the first game of a doubleheader against the fifth-place Detroit Tigers and Bob Cain on Sunday, July 1 , before 42,891 fans in Cleveland's Municipal Stadium.
In the first inning, Johnny Lipon grounded to third, Gerry Priddy to second and George Kell to shortstop, as Feller made just six pitches. Vic Wertz fanned, Hoot Evers hit a hard grounder to shortstop and Dick Kryhoski bounced an easy one to short in the second.
The Tigers were retired in order in the third also, Joe Ginsberg popping to short, Johnny Groth taking a called third strike and Cain lifting an easy fly to left. But Lipon led off the fourth with a slow bounder to short. Ray Boone came in, fielded the ball and threw wide to first for an error. Priddy fanned on a 3-2 pitch with Lipon stealing second on the called third strike.
Feller threw two balls to Kell, then tried to pick Lipon off second, but his throw skidded into center field and Lipon raced to third. He scored after Kell flied to left on the next pitch. Wertz followed with a walk, but Evers flied to right to end the inning.
With two out in the fifth, Groth walked. Cain hit a grounder over second on which Bob Avila made a fine backhanded stop, and his throw to first retired the pitcher.
Lipon opened the sixth with a slow roller to short that Boone grabbed wish his bare hand and threw to first on a nifty play. Priddy hit a hard drive to third, and Al Rosen knocked the ball down behind the bag. He recovered and his throw nipped the batter by a step.
From then until the eighth the Tigers were retired on routine plays. Ginsberg started the eighth with a bunt toward third. Rosen pounced on it and fired to first, just beating the runner on a very close play. Groth lined to first baseman Luke Easter for the second out, but Cain drew Feller's third and final pass on four pitches.
Fred Hutchinson then batted for Lipon and Feller quickly got two strikes on him. Hutch lifted an easy fly to right on the next pitch.
The ninth was tension-filled as Feller strove to become the second pitcher in modern baseball to pitch three no-hitters. Charlie Keller batted for Priddy as the inning started. He worked the count to 1-1, then flied to right. Kell lifted a 2-2 pitch to left where Dale Mitchell easily made the catch.
The dangerous Wertz was next. Feller threw him a slider and Vic lined it to the right, just foul. He swung and missed a high fastball for strike two. Trying to tempt him with a bad pitch, Feller threw a ball outside, another high, and a third inside to run the count to 3-2. Wertz swung on the next pitch and hit it into the right field stands foul. Feller's next offering was a high slider that caught the outside corner. Wertz let it go by. Plate umpire Charlie Berry hesitated a moment, then called strike three. Wertz started to protest but turned away as the Indians rushed to congratulate the happy Feller.
The Indians tallied once in the first inning when Mitchell and Avila started with singles and the former scored with one out as Easter grounded to short. The winning run, breaking a 1-1 tie, came in the eighth. Sam Chapman sliced a triple to right with one out. Milt Nielsen ran for him and scored when Easter followed with a single off first baseman Kryhoski's glove.
Feller finished the season with a 22-8 record, tops in the league.
Bob Feller | National Baseball Hall of Fame Plaque | Class of 1962 ( HOF )
Bob Feller ( 1938 All-Star Game ), Dwight Gooden ( 1984 All-Star Game ) and Bryce Harper ( 2012 All-Star Game ) are the only teenaged Major League players in history to be named to a Midsummer Classic .