RIP Bob Feller, from Jeff Watson

December 16, 2010 |

 Last night, we lost another baseball great, Bob Feller.

Ralph Vince comments:

He was here all the time, in this little town of Chagrin Falls, (along with a few other old-time MLB pitchers, none in stature to Feller). I don't know if he lived here, or just hung around here. This is the kind of place people come to just to hang. (God alone knows why. This is a bit of a pre-lapsarian place. At the local hardware store, if you need anything metric, you won't find it in this town. Need film? At the drugstore you can get Kodak, but not Fuji or Konika.)

He was not very well liked, not regarded as a pleasant guy at all.

Stefan Jovanovich writes in: 

And, why, pray tell, should it matter a tinker's damn whether the man was "well-liked" or considered "pleasant"? The man had the unfortunate habit of always telling the truth– about baseball and about this country. He and Wahoo Sam Crawford were two of a kind. 

Jack Tierney writes: 

This reminds me of my home town's only claim to major league fame, Jay Hook. Jay was the local hero who made it to the "bigs" but never made a big splash.

He wound up with the Mets and Stengel in the expansion draft and had the honor of pitching the first Mets' win ever. He was a graduate of Northwestern (thermodynamics) so could tie his shoes without help.

Jay's most notable accomplishment, though, (and maybe even the one that lead Stengel to ask "Can anyone here play this game?") occurred as he and another pitcher sat making calculations in the dugout during a game.

Stengel wanted to know what the hell they were doing.

Displaying a sheet containing a host of complex maths calculation Jay told Casey that they were assuming Gibson could throw a curve ball at 90 mph. The problem: Given that speed and distance between home plate and where Gibson released the ball, how many revolutions did the ball make?

I never discovered if they determined the answer as Casey snatched the paper and dumped it.

I don't know if this story ever made the papers but it was related to me by his father, Cecil (proprietor of Cec's Drugstore), over a traditional Sunday morning after-Mass vanilla malt.





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