Hall of Fame pitcher and World War II veteran Bob Feller is born in Van Meter, Iowa.
Feller joined the Cleveland Indians as a 17-year-old after a successful high school pitching career. He debuted with the club in 1936, making six relief appearances before striking out 15 batters in a complete game win in his first professional start. He broke the American League record less than one month later by striking out 17 Philadelphia Athletics hitters.
After registering his third straight 20-win season and fourth straight 200+ strikeout season, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and missed all of the 1942 through 1944 seasons and most of the 1945 campaign serving his country. Back for the full 1946 season, he set career highs for strikeouts (348), shutouts (10), complete games (36), innings pitched (371 1/3), and ERA (2.18) while posting his second-highest number of wins (26) in a season.
Feller spent all 18 of his Major League seasons in an Indians uniform, amassing a 266-162 record with a 3.25 ERA and 3,271 strikeouts in his career. His number 19 was retired by the Indians in 1957 following his retirement. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1962 with Jackie Robinson.
He passed away on December 15, 2010.