Monday, September 29, 2008
The man and Bobby Feller
There are going to be two major league teams having spring training in the town I'm living in here in Arizona, the Cleveland Indians and the Cincinatti Reds. The players apparently will be on hand for workouts throughout the off-season. They had the dedication ceremony last night and Hall of Famer Bob Feller was on hand to sign autographs. I got a picture signed of Feller pitching to Joe DiMaggio during a Feller no hitter 1-0 at Yankee Stadium on April 30, 1946. Most people just got a signature and left without a word, but I naturally had a few questions. I just found it really cool to talk to someone involved in so much history and told him so, and he seemed happy to hear that. Watching him put on his baseball Hall of Fame sport jacket I was just in awe, and I really enjoyed chatting with someone in such a cool and exclusive club. I asked Feller's opinion on the classic Joe DiMaggio versus Ted Williams debate, and he gave the fairly traditional appraisal that "Williams was the best hitter and DiMaggio was the best ballplayer." I also asked him who he had the toughest time facing, and he said Tommy Henrich gave him fits. Henrich was known as "Old Reliable" for his clutch hitting. Feller also told me he was part of the Navy unit that shelled Garapan, and I found his choice of the word Garapan, not Saipan, interesting. Alex and Carl had fun running the bases, and I'm so looking forward to spring training next year.