The Bob Feller Collection
“A baseball life is short,” Bob Feller once said. “You’re out of the game much longer than you are in it, and you have to prepare yourself for that time.”
As every longtime baseball fan knows, Feller took his own advice to heart. Throughout more than a half-century in retirement, he was a constant fixture at Cleveland Indians games, at Cooperstown, and at collector conventions. Simply put, he was baseball’s greatest ambassador, ever eager to sign an autograph or spin a yarn, fraternize with fellow old-timers or provide inspiration to youngsters. “[T]here will never be anyone quite like Bob Feller ever again,” Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson noted after Feller’s death. “He probably flew more miles ... met more people and visited more places than anyone, a testament to his ceaseless zest for life, baseball and country. Cooperstown will never be the same without Rapid Robert.”
Of course, the Feller legacy extended far beyond the fields and stadiums of our National Pastime. Here was a man who sacrificed his prime pitching years to be the first Major Leaguer to enlist in World War II. Here was a man who kept company with U.S. Presidents. Here was a man actively engaged in his community, year in and year out, through countless civic organizations, clubs, charities and fundraisers. Feller was a baseball phenom and superstar, yes, but more than that, he consistently proved himself an American hero of the highest order.
All along the way—from his Iowa upbringing to Major League debut to naval service to postwar career to elder statesman status—Bob Feller maintained a personal collection of his pinnacle keepsakes, mementos and heirlooms. In collaboration with the Feller family, Legendary Auctions is pleased and honored to have been chosen to publicly present many of those treasures in the following catalog section.
The Bob Feller Collection begins with such seminal pieces as Bob’s actual class ring from Van Meter High School and concludes with an incredible run of 1990s Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony multi-signed baseballs. In between those bookends are special and unique items from every phase of Feller’s life, featuring: Personal Ephemera (military/piloting/club memberships); Awards (highlighted by the 1940 BBWAA Player of the Year); Baseball “Association Pieces” (uniting Feller with friendly foes like Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio); Political Letters (including George W. Bush, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan with tremendous historical content); A Never-Before-Seen “How to Pitch” Promotional Poster; and One of the Fireballer’s Few Known Game-Used Bats ... fashioned into a lamp from Bob’s own living room!
Best of all, every single auction lot in this section comes with the iron-clad provenance of a letter of authenticity from the Feller family.