Can one no-hitter be better than another? In the eyes of Indians legend Bob Feller, he believes so.
Feller threw his second of three no-hitters on April 30, 1946—exactly 67 years ago today.
His first of the three came on Opening Day 1940 against the Chicago White Sox, a game that Feller is quick to dismiss. His second, he says, is the one that deserves the attention.
“The no-hitter on opening day in Chicago is the one that gets all the attention,” Feller said in a 2010 USA Today article. “But my no-hitter at Yankee Stadium was against a much better team than the White Sox.”
By Evan Matsumoto
The edition of the Cleveland Plain Dealer published April 17, 1940 contained 28 pages and cost 3 cents. Headlines were strewn across the page like someone spilled a basket of words and pasted them wherever they landed.
One of the headlines read “NAZI PLANES ROAR NORTH IN STREAM,” in all capital letters. Buried further down on the front page, another headline said “Cuyahoga Poll Backs Kennedy For Governor.” But pasted at the top, in bold capital letters that spanned all eight columns, one headline screamed “FELLER HURLS NO-HITTER TO WIN, 1 TO 0.”
The day before was April 16, 1940, just another opening day for the Chicago White Sox. The 32,000 seats in Comiskey Park were filled with only 14,000 fans on what Cleveland Plain Dealer writer Gordon Cobbledick described as a “chilly afternoon.”
By Ronnie Tellalian
A statue stands in a courtyard out in front of Gate C at Progressive Field in Cleveland. It depicts a hero that remained loyal to a much maligned city for 70 years. I don’t call him a hero because he was a Hall of Fame baseball player or because he was the greatest and most beloved Indians of all-time. I call him a hero because he was one. In 1941 Bob Feller was driving back from Iowa after visiting his terminally ill father. He was on his way to sign a new contract with the Cleveland Indians, when a news report came over the radio announcing the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Two days later, Feller became the first American professional athlete to enlist to fight in World War II. The military was willing to give him an exemption from combat due to his fathers ailing health, but Feller would not accept it.
“I told them I wanted to get into combat; wanted to do something besides standing around handing out balls and bats and making ball fields out of coral reefs,” Feller said.