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Indians mourn the passing of 'Rapid Robert' Bob Feller12/15/2010 10:27 PM ET
CLEVELAND, OH -- Cleveland Indians owner Larry Dolan has issued the following statement regarding the passing of legendary Bob Feller. The 92-year old Feller died tonight at 9:15 p.m. ET of acute leukemia in Cleveland, OH.
"Bob Feller is gone. We cannot be surprised. Yet, it seems improbable. 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. His statue at Progressive Field is an icon. No more, no less than Moses Cleveland in Public Square.
To say he will be missed is such an understatement. In fact, more to the point, he will not be missed because he will always be with us. Since 1936 he has been with us. For 75 years he has been a contributing citizen, a model for all athletes, and friend of thousands. As so it shall be in the larger sense, Bob will be with us always. Not at Opening Day, not at Fantasy Camp, not in the Press Box, but in our hearts.
We in Cleveland have been blessed to have had him with us these many years. We will never let his memory pass."
Cleveland Indians organization remembers Bob Feller
It is a combination of so many other aspects of Feller's life that make him stand out from other great players. As Midwesterners, fans love that his arm strength came from working on a farm in Iowa. As Americans, we are filled with pride by the fact that he enlisted in the Navy on the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor and immediately volunteered for combat service. He was the first MLB player to do so. Feller was once asked, "What is the most important game you ever won?" He responded, "World War II." Following the war, despite missing four seasons during what many considered his prime years, Feller returned to old form and never once regretted serving his country before himself.
Feller's life, much like his fastball, never seemed to slow down. He remained an ambassador to the game and helped form the Major League Baseball Players Union. Feller constantly maintained a presence in Greater Cleveland and frequently attended Indians games. As evidenced by the Bob Feller statue outside Progressive Field, no player has meant more to the Indians organization, both during and after his career, as Feller.
Many things have changed since Feller was a kid learning the game from his father on their farm in Van Meter, IA. However, kids still play baseball and playing this game lends itself toward dreaming about becoming one of the greats. As an organization, the Cleveland Indians could not be more proud to have had one of those greats so close, for so long. He was more than a hero. Bob Feller is a legend.
Feller spent every one of his 18 seasons in Major League Baseball proudly wearing a Cleveland Indians uniform, epitomizing the loyalty this city has shown its teams for generations. Signed by the Indians at age 17, he started 484 games and won 266 of them. Of those wins, 19 occurred during the 1948 season when the Indians last celebrated a World Championship. He had a lifetime ERA of 3.25, threw three no-hitters -- including the only Opening Day no-hitter in MLB history on April 16, 1940 -- 12 one-hitters and 44 career shutouts. In 1946, he pitched a remarkable 36 complete games.
Bob Feller was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in August and underwent surgery at the Cleveland Clinic to implant a pacemaker in October. In mid-November, Feller was hospitalized with pneumonia.
Details on a public memorial service will be announced in near future. Fans are invited to visit indians.com/feller for a tribute to Bob Feller and the opportunity to share their thoughts and memories regarding the Indians legend.
The designated charities for any monetary contributions can be made in the name of Bob Feller to Cleveland Indians Charities (www.indians.com) and the Bob Feller Museum (www.bobfellermuseum.org).
We respectfully inform the media the Feller family has requested privacy at this time.
Mark Shapiro -- Indians President
Mike Hargrove -- Indians Hall of Famer
Charles Nagy -- Indians Hall of Famer
Mike Hegan -- Indians Broadcaster and son of Feller's battery mate and Tribe Great Jim Hegan
Rick Manning -- Indians Great and Broadcaster
Tom Hamilton -- Broadcaster and "Voice of Indians"
Manny Acta -- Indians Manager
Dennis Lehman -- Indians Executive Vice President of Business
He was an amazing, engaging person, who was willing to share his thoughts and opinions to all and took the time to spend with so many of us in this community.
I will miss him very much."
Bob DiBiasio -- Indians Vice President of Public Relations
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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