It is easy to state that many Americans risk their lives on a daily basis as they serve their country in the armed forces. Few acknowledge everything they give up to do so. Bob Feller, who would have been 94 today (died in 2010), became the first MLB player to enlist in the millitary after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Being his family’s sole support as an established MLB pitcher, he had the right to forego the millitary draft but still enlisted in the navy. He would miss almost four full seasons, but his time serving his country added to the legend of the great man he was, in addition to being an all time great pitcher.
Feller was inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1962 after retiring after the 1956 season. Though he will be always be known as one of the great pitchers the game has ever seen, his career numbers did not completely match his body of work. His 266-162 career record made him one of few pitchers to fin