Many oldtimers will still tell you that Bob Feller (1918-2011) had the fastest fastball in the baseball history. In 18 years as a pitcher for the Cleveland Indians, "Rapid Robert" amassed 2581 strikeouts as well as 266 wins and an outstanding winning percentage of .621.
After jumping straight from high school to the Major Leagues at age 17 in 1936, Feller struck out 15 St. Louis Browns in his first start, and struck out 17 batters in a game later that year.
Despite losing almost four prime years during his highly decorated service with the Navy in World War II, Feller went on to become the winningest pitcher in Indians history. He led the American League in strikeouts seven times, and paced the league in wins six times. In 1940, he went a league high 27-11 with a 2.61 ERA to capture AL Pitching Triple Crown. A lone dubious accomplishment for Feller was his major league record 208 walks in 1938.
By the time Feller ended his career at age 37 in 1956, he had crafted 12 one-hit gems and tossed three no-hitters, and had cemented his place in baseball history as one of the greatest pitchers of all time. Feller became a first ballot Hall-of-famer in 1962.
By the way, just how fast was Feller's legendary fastball? Well, the Air Force clocked its speed using an early radar gun in 1946 and decided that his best pitch of the day topped out at 109 mph. Take that as you will, but no pitcher since has been clocked higher than 103 mph.
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