This book covers the baseball life of Bob Feller from American Legion ball and travel baseball throughout Iowa to his days in the major leagues. everywhere he pitched was aided by the eye of his father. In fact, his dad built a baseball diamond that had all of the bells and whistles like a scoreboard, backstop, and bleachers.
It was helpful for him to work on his craft as he became one of the best power pitchers of his time. He threw hard but at times struggled with his control This combination made batter fee uncomfortable in the batters’ box. A group of Cleveland Indians player led a protest against their manager during the season that was pinned on Bob Feller as the leader of the pack.
This didn’t go well with the fans and he and others were labeled as crybabies. Feller always spoke his mind and several times it got him in trouble. Shortly after that, he joined the military to help his country during World War II. Fans and sports reporters constantly lament the time away from baseball that certainly would have added to his impressive pitching numbers.
Bob Feller, according to many, was a racist. He is said to decide he wouldn’t shake the hand of Larry Doby who was the first black player in Indians history. The author, John Sickels, tries to downplay this issue but doesn’t make much of a compelling case. Feller made a public statement that only Satchell Paige and Josh Gibson had the talent to play in the majors among the new crop of black players now on several teams. When his career was over, he continued to rail on social issues in the United States and major league baseball.
He spoke out about free agency and went into business that continued his feud with Jackie Robinson. Feller becomes a forgotten man after a few years in baseball history and the author tries to re-kindle a desire to elevate Bob Feller to society. It is likely that his views on black players will not give him much light into historical reverence. His outspoken thoughts and ideas bordered on arrogance. Bob Feller was not a nice guy.
This book is in the average category and most won’t read it unless they are fans of the Cleveland Indians.