Today all baseball fans lost one of their greatest heroes when Bob Feller (Rapid Robert) passed away at age 92.
Bob Feller probably ought to be mentioned amongst the top 5 all time greatest pitchers to have ever played, along with Cy Young, Walter Johnson, Christy Matthewson and Lefty Grove. Over 18 years he had 266 wins, including 6 20-win seasons. He also led the league in strikouts 7 times, but even those numbers don't tell the whole story.
After D-Day Feller enlisted in the military, even though at the time he was in his prime, having won 25 games in 1941. Feller lost almost 4 full seasons during WWII and if one estimates his numbers during those years he probably would've won at least 50-60 more games during his career.
What sets Feller apart from a lot of other great pitchers is how fast he threw the ball. In are era before radar guns, he was clocked at over 100 mph when throwing alonside a motorcycle going over 100 mph.
Aside from his on-field performance, what I recall about Feller was a TV interview a few years back when he said he thought the players who served in WWII should be given some credit from the Hall of Fame for the years they served. He teared up when talking about his fellow soldiers who died during the war, and clearly felt his military service was just as important as anything he did on the ballfield.
Here's hoping today's players can learn to emulate Mr. Feller in both talent and dignity.