Before Edwin Diaz, Aroldis Chapman, Jordan Hicks and Ryan Helsley, MLB had flamethrowers in just about every era.
Justin Verlander broke through in 2005-2006 throwing 100 mph, for example.
Before him, it was Randy Johnson, Nolan Ryan, Dwight Gooden, Steve Carlton, and Roger Clemens.
Cleveland Guardians great Bob Feller, however, was the most famous and celebrated hard-throwing pitcher in the 40s and it wasn’t even close.
He was born on this day, but 104 years ago.
“Born on this day in 1918: Bob Feller.🔥 2,581 SO, ⚾️ 266 Wins, ⚾️ 3 No-Hitters, 🇺🇸 Navy Chief Petty Officer,” the Guardians’ official Twitter account wrote with a video.
Born on this day in 1918:
🔥 2,581 SO
⚾️ 266 Wins
⚾️ 3 No-Hitters
🇺🇸 Navy Chief Petty Officer pic.twitter.com/oI27E0xg6O
— Cleveland Guardians (@CleGuardians) November 3, 2022
A Cleveland Hero
Feller played his whole career with Cleveland, then called the Indians.
His MLB tenure started in 1936 and finished in 1956.
His fastball was a thing of beauty, and it helped him reach triple digits and compile a career 3.25 ERA in 3,827 innings.
He won 266 games, threw three no-hitters (including one on Opening Day) and struck out 2,581 hitters, the third-highest mark at the time of his retirement.
It’s important to point out that his totals could have been a lot better, but his career was interrupted by four years of military service (1942–1945) as a United States Navy Chief Petty Officer aboard USS Alabama during World War II.
Feller was a member of Cleveland’s team in the 1948 World Series, the last time they won it all.
He won the pitching Triple Crown in 1940 and is a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame since 1962.
There is a case to be made that “the Heater From Van Meter” is arguably the best pitcher in franchise history.
He died in 2010, but those who saw him pitch tell stories about him being the most dominant right-hander in the league at the time.