1954 Topps card
In 1954, at the age of 35, Bob Feller was still playing for the Indians - the only professional team he would ever play for, children. He missed four seasons in the early 40s when he registered for the military the day after Pearl Harbor, the first Major League Player to do so (though hardly the only one.) Think about that, children.
When Jackie Robsinson was tapped to be the first African-American ball player in the Major Leagues, Feller infamously said, "If he were a white man, I doubt if they would even consider him big-league material."
In 1954, Hall of Famer-to-be Feller was the No. 5 starter for a Cleveland Indians team that won 111 games in a 154-game season. All he could do—at age 35—was throw nine complete games in 19 starts and compile a 13-3 record with a 3.09 earned run average.Regarding "The Catch":
- The Hardball Times
Bob Feller: A lot of center fielders could have caught the ball Mays caught. He put on the act pretty good; he always did. He let his hat fly off, then threw the ball back to the infield. The ball was hit into a small wind. The ball came down like a popup. He was playing shallow, but Vic Wertz was the hitter, so he should not have been playing shallow.Sources:
Dennis Manoloff: So you're not impressed by the catch.
Bob Feller: Not at all. Not at all.
- The Plain Dealer, April 2010
The Plain Dealer
The Hardball Times