Thursday, December 16, 2010

Remembering Bob Feller

Bob Feller regales the crowd during the 2009 MLBPAA Legends for Youth dinner
With the news of the passing of baseball's longest tenured living Hall of Famer, Bob Feller,  his appearance at the 2009 MLBPAA Legends for Youth Dinner in New York City once again was lucid in my mind.

When Feller grabbed the microphone that evening, everyone was on the edge of their seats, including the other Hall of Famers. Receiving a standing ovation after he addressed the crowd, a then 91-year-old Feller vowed to return to New York City the following year to be a part of the celebration for the alumni association that he was so deeply involved with.

Feller understood the fraternity of the rare few who shared the title of major league ballplayer, and took every chance to represent the history and integrity of the game. Driven by the industrious values of growing up on a farm in Iowa through the depression, Feller insisted that succeeding in baseball was a result of the spirit he developed as a young kid laboring in the fields.

Always eager to speak, the vigorous Feller answered questions all night from seemingly every fan in attendance, all of whom were trying to get a glimpse into the vaults of the legend. Stopping his interactions only to take small bites from his plate, Feller simultaneously signed countless autographs and fielded questions from the eager crowd. He thanked just about everyone who asked him for an autograph. For a player who accomplished so much in his career, Feller displayed a great deal of humility and sincerity, something that seems to be lacking from the current generation of players.



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