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17-Year-Old Bob Feller’s Career Unfolds in Early Photo

Since few are around who remember it well, Bob Feller’s arrival in the big leagues is now left almost totally to the history books.  It seems now almost incomprehensible to fathom.  Feller, a high school student , was such a marvel, that he basically skipped the minor leagues and went right to a big league mound.

1936 Bob Feller photographOh sure, there were a few outings in places like Fargo and New Orleans, but when our Vintage Photo of the Day was taken in August of 1936, Feller was just two days away from becoming a bona fide big league starter.

The ‘farm boy’ from Iowa, as the papers described him, was a curiosity when he posed for photographers at Griffith Stadium in Washington.  On August 23, the 17-year-old Feller made his first start, striking out 15 St. Louis Browns.  By season’s end, he was nationally famous—and heading back to high school.

A Hall of Fame career unfolded in the years to come, interrupted only by World War II, when Feller quickly enlisted.

The truth was that Feller really was a farm boy—and proud of it.  His father recognized his ability at an early age and while Bob was expected to work, he was given time to develop his strong throwing arm that saw him hurling a ball 270 feet by age nine.

Feller photo caption 1936The photo has some creasing and wear to the bottom border but the image from the dawn of Feller’s remarkable career is crisp and clear after sitting in storage for decades at a major U.S. newspaper.   On the reverse is a full paper caption dated August 25 and Acme News Photo stamping, along with the date the photo was filed.

It’s one of hundreds of sports and historic original news photos up for bid through April 15 at RMYAuctions.com.

About Rich Mueller

Rich is the editor and founder of Sports Collectors Daily. A broadcaster and writer for more than 30 years and a collector for even longer than that, he's usually typing something somewhere. Type him back at [email protected].

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