Some things are just bigger than a sport itself. Those same things also get callously cast aside for last night’s box scores. In a small way, the Indians and the Naval Academy are looking to make sure we do not forget the fact. The beloved Robert William Andrew Feller will now be forever immortalized with the Bob Feller Act of Valor Award.
Given to voted recipients (one current MLB player, a major league hall of famer, one current serviceperson) on Veteran’s Day, and announced at Progressive Field, this award, which is a bronzed bust of the late Rapid Robert, provides a unique recognition of duty and service to the country. Given Feller’s unabashed pride in his military service, this is probably the kind of award that he would want his legacy staked on more than any other of his accolades.
In many ways, this new award seems to be a “cousin” award to the Roberto Clemente award, given to players as recognition of that player’s public service and charitable community efforts. Now we can add this as a token of gratitude to a member of those men and women who work so hard to defend our freedoms.
And good on the Indians for taking the initiative in honoring Feller for what he has always been most proud of.