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Now Pitching, Bob Feller Hardcover – April, 1990

4.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

After so many recent sports autobiographies by also-rans, here is one by a baseball superstar, coauthored with freelancer Gilbert, and it is well worth reading. Iowa farm boy Feller broke into the major leagues in 1936 at age 17 with the Cleveland Indians, and went on to set all sorts of records for strikeouts, no-hit and one-hit games for the next 20 years. He emerges here as a levelheaded man, able to cope with his teenage celebrity and with the triumphs and tragedies that followed, chief among them his first wife's alcoholism and drug addiction and his inability to help her. Most interesting to fans are Feller's assessments of the players he considers the best: Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams and pitcher Walter Johnson. Another intriguing sidelight is the depiction of his 50-year friendship with former Iowa sports announcer Ronald Reagan. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Feller, known as "Rapid Robert" for his incredible fastball, and one of baseball's greatest pitchers, played for the Cleveland Indians from 1936 to 1956. This book is a straightforward account of his life in and out of baseball. The book is chockful of anecdotes--Feller even devotes a few pages to his famous 1948 World Series attempted pick-off play which has become part of baseball lore. He is a level-headed observer of baseball today, and he decries the general lack of teamwork--the hallmark of yesteryear--as players compete more for individual feats to bolster future salary demands than for team effort. Recommended for most libraries.
- Paul Kaplan, Highland Park P.L., Ill.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 231 pages
  • Publisher: Citadel (April 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1559720050
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559720052
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,779,030 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By R. Rowan on August 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
The basic facts are simple enough ... Bob Feller was born two months after Ted Williams, eight days before the Armistice ended WWI. Possessor of a blazing fastball, "Rapid Robert" broke into major league baseball at 17 in 1936, Joe Dimaggio's rookie year. Feller pitched for the Cleveland Indians, ending his career the year Mickey Mantle won the Triple Crown (1956). Feller enlisted in the U.S. Navy December 9, 1941, the first player to do so. He returned to the Indians in late 1945 after serving 44 months. He threw 3 no-hitters, and 12 one-hitters.

Bob Feller is a humble and honest man, and his story shows it. The book begins with critical comments on television's influence on baseball circa 1990. He writes of his boyhood in Van Meter, Iowa, and pitching in the big leagues before graduating from high school. His anecdotes about barnstorming bring Satchel Paige to vivid life. Feller does not gloss over his first wife's illness, or his strained relationship with Jackie Robinson. I imagine he is greatly dismayed by today's steroid abuse allegations.

He calls on current players to contribute more to baseball's pension plan. When Feller played, salaries were much lower. Many big-leaguers worked in the off-season to supplement their incomes. Over the last thirty years, free agency and escalating TV contracts have made mediocre players millionaires. Feller is not jealous. He seeks a fair shake for many aging and retired former ballplayers in danger of being forgotten by the system.

Baseball autobiographies abound. I rank Feller's with "Hank Greenberg: The Story of My Life" and Hank Aaron's "I Had a Hammer" among the most memorable. Highly recommended.
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By Alyssa on March 18, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the perfect book, and, after reading it, makes you sad at what baseball has become. It is one man describing his journey through life, and his love of baseball. It certainly teaches you to achieve your dreams, no matter the cost, and it humbles you, because of this man's love for the game, and his team. Great great read. I highly recommend it, even if you're not much of a baseball fan, or a Cleveland Indians fan, this book has great morals and is just an awesome read.
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Format: Hardcover
Bob Feller was a sensation from the time that he signed by the Cleveland Indians to leave the family farm in Van Meter, Iowa to report directly to the big leagues as a teenager. When he completed his high school education by taking correspondence classes and returned home to take part in commencement exercises, Feller was accompanied by newsreel cameramen. His graduation was national news.

Feller was one of the fastest pitchers in baseball history. He routinely lead the American League in strike outs, but also suffered from wildness when he could not locate his 100 m.p.h. fastball. Nevertheless, he topped the league in wins six times. He recorded three no hit games.

His noteworthy career was interrupted by World War II (Feller served four years in the Navy) and he had the misfortune to play for a succession of poor teams in Cleveland before the Tribe became a contending ballclub. As such, Feller was unable to reach 300 career wins. He came close, but missed the mark by missed the mark by thirty-four wins. Unquestionably, he would have reached that mark, but for the war.

He was a perennial All Star and played on two pennant winners and one World Championship team. One of his key regrets was that he did not record a win in World Series play: He was 0-2 in the 1948 series, including one especially tough loss to Johnny Sain of the Boston Braves (a 2-1 decision highlighted by a disputed call on a pickoff attempt); in 1954, Feller never pitched an inning as the Indians were swept in four straight by the New York Giants.

Feller is a blunt and unapologetic individual. He has made more than a few controversial remarks when commenting upon baseball related subjects. He is one of the most talented pitchers to have played baseball and he knows it.
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Format: Paperback
This biography comes straight from the heart of the man some say was the hardest thrower to ever take the mound in the big leagues. Bob Feller tells his story beginning with his upbringing on a farm in Van Meter, Iowa, where his father spent hours coaching and nuturing him. Imagine pitching in the big leagues for the Cleveland Indians at age 17 (in 1936) and then returning home to finish your senior year of high school. Readers learn a lot about baseball just before and after World War II, stars like Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Babe Ruth (who retired shortly before Feller arrived), etc., and the pscyhology of pitching. Feller also describes his naval service during the war, and barnstorming against Satchell Paige and other Negro Leguers. As many know, Feller's big baseball disappointment was that he never won a World Series game. He describes losing that 1-0 Series heartbreaker against Johnny Sain in 1948, plus not appearing in 1954 due to Cleveland being swept by an underdog NY Giants team. Readers also read about Feller's career as his arm began to wear out, his later life in sports promotion, etc.

I wish Feller had spoken more about the old ballparks (particularly League Park), and been a touch less strident in his opinions on certain issues. Also, as Feller, Paige, Warren Spahn, and a few others threw a ton of innings without injury, one wonders if we could scientifically demonstrate how they did it and how others can do likewise. Not a perfect book, but this down-to-earth 1990 memoir is worth a look.
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