100 years ago today, the Hall of Fame baseball pitcher Bob Feller was born on an Iowa farm. The young prodigy who joined the Cleveland Indians at age 17 struck out 15 batters in his debut start, and became the first pitcher to win 24 games in a season before he was 21. Things only got more impressive—even though he took time to serve his country. WATCH or Learn More… (1918)
He threw three no-hitters in his 18-year career and tallied the most American League wins seven different years. He could have upped that total, but for the fact that he enlisted in the US military one day after the Pearl Harbor attack and served on battleships and gunners for four years.
Upon his return in 1946, the farm boy recorded 348 strikeouts, a total not exceeded for nearly two decades. ‘Bullet Bob’ was named by Sporting News as the “greatest pitcher of his time,” and Red Sox great Ted Williams called Bob Feller “the fastest and best pitcher I ever saw during my career.”
More Good News on this Date:
- The Times of India, the world’s largest circulated English language daily newspaper, was founded as The Bombay Times (1838)
- A new Dutch constitution drafted by Johan Thorbecke to limit the power of the monarchy, strengthening parliament and ministers, was proclaimed – and is still in use today (1848)
- Independence gained for Panama (1903, from Colombia); for Poland (1918, from Russia); Dominica (1978, from Britain); and the Federated States of Micronesia (1986, from USA)
- Washington D.C. residents were able to vote in a presidential election for the first time (1964)
- The Illinois lawyer Carol Moseley-Braun became the first black woman elected to the U.S. Senate—after becoming the first woman to defeat an incumbent U.S. Senator in an election, and the first female Senator from Illinois (1992)
- The rapper P Diddy (Sean Combs) ran in the New York City Marathon and raised $2,000,000 for the city’s educational system, finishing the race in four hours and eighteen minutes (2003)
- Republican Susana Martinez of New Mexico became the first Hispanic female governor elected in the United States—and during her first term earned one of the highest approval ratings of any governor in the U.S. (2010)
On this day in 2013, motivational marathoner “Backwards Bill” Reilly completed his 30th NYC Marathon, showing that even with cerebral palsy and lacking strong arms, he could navigate by pushing his specially built wheelchair backwards with one leg.
And, on this day in 1991, a free concert was held in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park to honor the work of concert promoter Bill Graham, who had been killed in a helicopter crash the prior week.
300,000 people gathered to see many of the entertainment acts that Graham had supported over the years, including Santana, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, The Grateful Dead, Robin Williams, Journey, and Joan Baez, who performed and told stories about the famed local celebrity.