I'm Barbara Klein. And I'm Steve Ember with PEOPLE IN AMERICA in VOA Special English. Today we tell about Bob Feller, one of the best pitchers in the history of American baseball.
CHRISTOPHER CRUISE: "I didn't know much. I just reared back and let them go. Where the ball went was up to heaven. Sometimes I threw the ball clean up into the stands."
Those were the words of Bob Feller, talking about his pitching. Robert William Andrew Feller was born in nineteen eighteen in the small town of Van Meter, Iowa. He grew up on his family's farm nearby. When he was not working in the fields, Bob was throwing a rubber ball against the side of a barn. Or playing catch with his father.
CHRISTOPHER CRUISE: "My father loved baseball and he cultivated my talent. I don't think he ever had any doubt in his mind that I would play professional baseball someday."
Bob played baseball in high school. At the age of sixteen, he secretly signed an agreement with a major league baseball team, the Cleveland Indians. He received one dollar and a baseball signed by the Cleveland players. Bob Feller became a professional baseball player at the age of seventeen while he was still in high school. He never pitched in the minor leagues, as most players do today.
In July of nineteen thirty-six, he pitched in an unofficial game against the St. Louis Cardinals. He struck out eight batters. None of them were able to hit the balls that Feller threw. The next month, he struck out fifteen batters in a game against the St. Louis Browns.
In September, Bob Feller pitched against the Philadelphia Athletics. He tied the major league record of striking out seventeen players in one game. Before his first season had ended, the New York Times reported that Bob Feller's name was "on the tongues of a million fans." He was said to be the best-known young person in America.
At the end of the season, Feller returned to his hometown for his last year of high school. NBC radio broadcast his graduation from Van Meter High School nationwide. He was on the cover of Time magazine at the age of eighteen.
From the late nineteen thirties to the late nineteen forties, Bob Feller was called the best pitcher in major league baseball. He threw the ball harder than any other pitcher of his time. He was known for his fastball. People sought to measure its speed using different methods. It was measured at between one hundred fifty-seven and one hundred seventy-two kilometers an hour.
One sportswriter described the effect the young pitcher had on other players. He wrote: "They were taking the pre-game exercises when the kid kicked his left foot high and delivered the first warm-up pitch. All over the field, action ceased. Nobody said anything. Everybody just stood still and watched."
Because of his fastball, Bob Feller had several nicknames, including "Rapid Robert" and "Bullet Bob." He won one hundred seven major league games before his twenty-third birthday. Experts said Bob Feller was baseball's most exciting player since Babe Ruth in the nineteen twenties.
CHRISTOPHER CRUISE: "When I picked up the ball and it feels nice and light and small, I know I'm going to have a good day. But if I pick it up and it's big and heavy, I know I'm liable to get into a little trouble."
Bob Feller pitched on the final day of the nineteen thirty-eight season against the Detroit Tigers. He struck out eighteen hitters to set a new major league record. Today, the record is twenty. In nineteen forty, he became the first American league pitcher to throw a complete game no-hitter on opening day, the first game of the season.
Then, on December seventh, nineteen forty-one, Japanese forces attacked the American naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The United States entered World War Two. Two days later Bob Feller halted his career to join the Navy. He was the first major league baseball player to volunteer for military service.
He served as the chief of an anti-aircraft gunnery crew on the battleship USS Alabama. He missed three full baseball seasons and most of a fourth.
Bob Feller returned to baseball late in nineteen forty-five. He recorded his best season the next year when he won twenty-six games. In nineteen forty-seven, Feller injured his right arm. He was never the same pitcher again.
The Cleveland Indians won the American League championship in nineteen forty-eight. So Feller achieved his dream of pitching in the World Series. The Indians won the World Series against the Boston Braves, four games to two. Feller started both games that the Indians lost. However, three years later, he was the best pitcher in the American League, winning twenty-two games.
In the nineteen fifties, Bob Feller helped organize the Major League Baseball Players Association. He served as the group's first president. He helped establish a pension plan to provide money for retired baseball players.
Feller retired from baseball in nineteen fifty-six. He won two hundred sixty-six games in eighteen seasons with the Cleveland Indians. He led the American League seven times in strikeouts and six times in victories. He pitched three games without any of the batters getting hits. And he pitched a record twelve games when he permitted only one hit.
Some baseball experts believe that he might have won three hundred fifty games and set the strikeout record if he had not spent several years in the military. But Feller never regretted his choice. In two thousand one, he said:
CHRISTOPHER CRUISE: "You'll never hear me complain about my time in the service. Baseball is insignificant when it comes to war."
Feller was once asked: "What is the most important game you ever won?" He answered: "World War Two."
Bob Feller was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, in nineteen sixty-two. Seven years later, professional baseball celebrated its one hundredth anniversary at the All-Star Game. Feller was honored as baseball's greatest living right-handed pitcher.
He spoke out about protecting baseball's standards of fairness. He opposed admitting players to the Hall of Fame if they had used performance-enhancing drugs.
Bob Feller continued his connection with the Cleveland Indians as a "goodwill ambassador." He appeared at the team's spring training games. He helped train young pitchers. He played catch in the field while wearing his easily recognizable number nineteen uniform. He also talked to baseball fans, often signing balls or pictures of him as a player. Feller often appeared at the team's "Fantasy Camps." This is where baseball fans pay a lot of money to spend a week playing baseball with former players.
In two thousand nine, at the age of ninety, he put on his Indians uniform one more time. He pitched to three batters in the first Baseball Hall of Fame Classic, a game in Cooperstown between former major leaguers.
Dennis Hoffman wrote about him in his book "Legends of the Ball." He asked the great pitcher: "If you could relive any one of the many great moments in your life, which one would it be?" Feller answered: "Playing catch with my dad between the red barn and the house."
Bob Feller died of leukemia in two thousand ten at the age of ninety-two. A statue of him stands outside Progressive Field, the home of the Cleveland Indians. After his death, Indians owner Larry Dolan said Feller was an important part of the team and the city: "He is Cleveland, Ohio.
Several people wrote on Facebook about what Bob Feller meant to them. Here are some of those comments.
"I saw him pitch to several batters at an old-timers game in Florida a few years back. Even then, at age eighty-eight, he could still put one in there."
"I almost melted when I shook his hand at a minor league game once. My childhood hero. An athlete among athletes."
"A Cleveland hero, a baseball hero and an American hero. Thanks, Bob."
Pick up a clamshell and weigh it in your hand.
2.at the end of在…尽头
Copy all your work to a backup device at the end of every day.
3.be liable to易于
People are liable to judge others from their own first impressions.
4.set a record创造纪录
Larry fulfilled his dream, and set a record for a gas-filled balloon flight.
In it aly we always complain about our referees, but they should see the ones abroad.
I'm going to speak out against the committee's decision .
克里斯托弗·克鲁斯：“我知道的不多 。我就是往后一仰，把它们仍走 。棒球去的地方是天堂 。有时候我把球干净地扔进看台 。”
这些话出自鲍勃·费勒之口，他在谈论自己的投球 。罗伯特·威廉·安德鲁·费勒于1918年出生在爱荷华州的范米特小镇 。他在他家附近的农场长大 。当鲍勃不在地里干活的时候，他就对着谷仓扔橡皮球 。或者和他父亲玩接球 。
克里斯托弗·克鲁斯：“我的父亲爱棒球，他培养了我的天赋 。我想他从来没有怀疑过有一天我会打职业棒球 。”
鲍勃在高中打棒球 。16岁的时候，他秘密地与美国职业棒球大联盟的克利夫兰印第安人队签署了一项协议 。他收到了一个由克利夫兰球员签名的一美元和棒球 。鲍勃·费勒在17岁的时候成为了一名专业棒球运动员，当时他还在上高中 。他从未像今天的大多数球员那样在小联盟中投球 。
在1936年7月，他在一个非官方的比赛中对阵圣路易斯红雀队 。他使八个击球手三振出局 。他们没有一个人能击中费勒扔的球 。接下来的一个月，他在与圣路易布朗队的比赛中使15个击球手三振出局 。
九月，鲍勃·费勒对阵费城运动家队 。他使17个击球手三振出局，追平了美国职业棒球大联盟的记录 。
在他的第一季结束之前，《纽约时报》报道说，鲍勃·费勒的名字“在一百万粉丝的嘴边” 。据说他是那时最有名的美国年轻人 。赛季结束的时候，费勒回到家乡去完成他高中的最后一年学业 。全国广播公司广播了他从范米特高中毕业的消息 。18岁的时候他登上了时代杂志的封面 。
从20世纪30年代末至20世纪40年代末，鲍勃·费勒被称为美国职业棒球大联盟最好的投手 。他投球比他那个时代的任何投手都用力 。他以快速球著称 。人们用各种方式测量他的投球的速度 。测量结果处于时速157公里至172公里之间 。
一位年轻作家描述了这位年轻投手对其他运动员带来的影响 。他写道：“他们正在做赛前练习，这时这个孩子把左脚踢得高高的，投出了第一个热身球 。整个场地的人们都停止了活动，没有人说话 。每个人只是站在那里，看他投球 。”
因为他的快速球，鲍勃·费勒有了几个绰号，包括“疾速罗伯特”和“子弹鲍勃” 。在他23岁生日之前，他赢得了107场美国职业棒球大联盟的比赛 。专家称鲍勃·费勒是自20世纪20年代贝比·鲁斯以来最令人兴奋的棒球运动员 。
克里斯托弗·克鲁斯：“当我拿起球，它感觉很好，很轻，很小，我知道我将有一个美好的一天 。但是当我拿起来的时候，它又大又重 。我知道我可能会遇到一些困难 。”
1938赛季的最后一天，鲍勃·费勒对阵底特律老虎队 。他淘汰了18个击球手，创下了联盟新纪录 。今天，此项记录是20个 。在1940年，他成为第一个在比赛开幕日投了一个完整的无安打比赛的美国棒球联盟投手，这是当赛季的第一场比赛 。
然后，在1941年12月7日，日本军队袭击了美国海军基地夏威夷珍珠港 。美国加入了第二次世界大战 。两天后，鲍勃·费勒停止了他的职业生涯，加入了海军 。他是美国职业棒球大联盟中第一个自愿服兵役的球员 。
他曾在阿拉巴马号战舰上担任一名防空炮手 。他错过了三个完整的棒球赛季，几乎错过了第四个赛季 。
鲍勃·费勒在1945年末重返棒球界 。第二年他赢得了26场比赛，创造了他最好的赛季记录 。1947年，费勒的右臂受伤了 。他再也不是以前那个投手了 。
克利夫兰印第安人队在1948年赢得了美国联盟冠军 。所以费勒实现了他在世界大赛中投球的梦想 。印第安人队以四比二战胜波士顿勇士队赢得了世界大赛 。费勒在印第安人队输掉的两场比赛中都是首发出战 。然而，三年后，他赢了22场比赛，成为了美国棒球职业大联盟最好的投手 。
在20世纪50年代，鲍勃·费勒帮助成立了美国职业棒球大联盟球员协会 。他担任了该组织的首任主席 。他帮助建立了一个退休棒球运动员的养老金计划 。
1956年，费勒从棒球生涯中退役 。在为克利夫兰印第安人队效力的18个赛季中，他共赢得了266场比赛 。他在美国联盟中使对手三振出局次数七次排名第一，获胜场数六次排名第一 。有三场比赛，没有一个击球手击中他的投球 。他创下了12场比赛的纪录，当时他只允许击一次球 。
一些棒球专家认为，如果他没有在军队里呆上几年的话，他可能已经赢了350场比赛，并创造了三振出局的记录 。但费勒从不后悔他的选择 。2001年时，他说：
鲍勃·费勒于1962年在纽约的库珀斯敦入选棒球名人堂 。7年后，职业棒球在全明星赛上庆祝了100周年纪念日 。费勒被誉为棒球史上最伟大的右手投手 。
他公开表示要保护棒球的公平标准 。他反对允许使用兴奋剂的球员进入名人堂 。
鲍勃·费勒继续以“友好大使”的身份与克利夫兰印第安人队保持着联系 。他参加了球队的春训 。他帮助训练年轻投手 。他穿着容易辨认的19号球衣在球场上接球 。他还与棒球迷交谈，经常在球上或者是他作为球员的照片签名 。费勒经常出现在球队的“梦幻训练营” 。这就是棒球迷花很多钱和以前的球员一起打一周棒球的地方 。
2009年，在90岁的时候，他再次穿上了印第安人队的制服 。在第一场棒球名人堂经典比赛中，他向三名击球手投球，这是一场在库珀斯敦举行的前大联盟球员之间的比赛 。
丹尼斯·霍夫曼在他的书《棒球传奇》中描述了他 。他问这位伟大的投手：“如果你能重温你生命中许多伟大时刻中的任何一个，你会选择哪一个?”费勒回答道：“和爸爸在红谷仓和房子之间玩接球游戏 。”2010年，鲍勃·费勒死于白血病，享年92岁 。克利夫兰印第安人的杰克布斯球场外矗立着他的雕像 。
有些人在Facebook上写到鲍勃·费勒对他们来说意味着什么 。这是其中的一些评论 。
“几年前，我在佛罗里达的一场前球员的比赛中看到他向几个击球手投球 。即使在那个时候，他已经88岁了，他仍然可以把一个放在那里 。”
“曾经在一次小联盟的比赛中我握了他的手，当时我的心都快融化了 。我儿时的英雄 。运动员中的运动员 。”
“一位克利夫兰的英雄，一位棒球英雄，一位美国英雄 。谢谢你，鲍勃 。”