Bob Feller arrived in the majors in 1936 at the tender age of 17. In 1938, he made the first of four straight All-Star rosters, and from 1939-1941, the young pitcher finished either second or third in MVP voting. He turned 23 years old in November, 1941; less than a month later he enlisted to serve in the United States Navy after hearing of the attack at Pearl Harbor on December 7.
Stan Musial called him “probably the greatest pitcher of our era,” and Ted Williams said he was “the fastest and best pitcher I ever saw during my career.” High praise from two of the best hitters in history. Despite his baseball prowess, Feller walked away from the diamond temporarily to do his part in protecting this country.
Feller returned to baseball after three years with the military, and continued his Hall of Fame career. In 18 big league seasons, he won 266 games and struck out 2581 batters.