Today in Tribe History: December 9, 1941
Bob Toth | On 09, Dec 2017
Cleveland Indians star pitcher Bob Feller enlists in the Navy following the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, several days earlier.
The 23-year-old Feller is the first Major Leaguer to enlist in military service, despite having a deferment as the sole supporter of his family. He is coming off of his third straight 20-win season in 1941, when he led the league in wins, games pitched, starts, shutouts, strikeouts, and innings pitched while making his fourth straight All-Star team and finishing in the top third of the MVP voting for the third consecutive season. He had completed his sixth season in the Majors just two months prior.
Feller will miss almost four full seasons of his career, returning at the tail end of the 1945 season for nine games. He will play for another dozen seasons, returning to the Midsummer Classic four more times and reaching the postseason in 1948 and 1954.