VOTE HERE: The Legacy of Bob Feller and the Medal of Freedom by Ryan Ashdown ’16

Bob Feller

There is no other game in the world that has a history that compares to the game of baseball. The game is America’s Pastime, where any day at the ballpark has the potential to set a record in the history books. The game has seen Ted Williams break .400, Joe DiMaggio hit in fifty-six consecutive games, Jackie Robinson break the color barrier, and many other great feats. But one of the most important things the game has ever seen is one of its best players walk away. Bob Feller, a pitcher for the Cleveland Indians, left Major League Baseball at the age of twenty-three, shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Feller was the first MLB player to enlist in the Navy, and would go on to serve for three years on the USS Alabama. “Rapid Robert” Feller, although deceased, is under consideration for this year’s Presidential Award of Freedom. The Presidential Award of Freedom is the highest civilian award given out by the United States Government. Many other baseball greats have received the award in the past, such as Hank Aaron and Willie Mays, just to name a few. I had the opportunity to ask President of the Cleveland Indians, Chris Antonetti, what it would mean to the organization for Feller to win the award. Antonetti stated, “It would mean a great deal to the organization. I think Bob Feller was not only a great baseball player but a phenomenal American and patriot. He had a great impact on the field and probably an equal or greater impact off the field because of his service to this country. It’s really hard to imagine anyone more deserving.” The Indians are promoting a petition to have Feller receive the award, which can be found at Indians.com/Feller. The petition needs 100,000 signatures within thirty days of its creation to be taken into consideration by the White House. With the baseball season right around the corner, what better way to pay respect to the game by honoring one of its greats and signing the petition. CLICK ON THE PETITION LINK BELOW!

Bob Feller Medal of Freedom Petition Link