CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Cleveland Indians have launched a campaign aimed at having the late Bob Feller awarded with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Update: The petition needs 88,000 more signatures with two weeks remaining.
The Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian award in the United States, given "for especially meritorious contribution to 1) the security or national interests of the United States, or 2) world peace, or 3) cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."
"It was all about the country. He took probably more pride in his role in the navy and serving our country than as he did as a baseball
player," says Danburg.
Cleveland Indians Senior Director of Communications Curtis Danburg helped bring the baseball great's priceless memorabilia from
Feller's hometown in Iowa to the Terrace Club at Progressive Field where it's on display.
"The experiences he had both as a baseball player. As a humanitarian. As a navy man. You can't replicate that , one of the most unique
individuals I've ever met and probably will ever meet," says Curtis Danburg.
The petition, filed on WhiteHouse.gov today, needs 100,000 signatures within 30 days to require a response from the White House. President Barack Obama bestowed the award upon the late Yogi Berra and Willie Mays last year; Berra and Mays joined other baseball players including Hank Aaron, Ernie Banks, Roberto Clemente, Joe DiMiaggio, Stan Musial, Buck O'Neil, Frank Robinson, Jackie Robinson and others who have received the award.
"There isn't a person more deserving of that honor than Bob Feller," says Danburg.
Feller, of course, was the first baseball player to enlist in the U.S. Navy after the bombings of Pearl Harbor. He could have asked for a deferment, as his father had terminal cancer, but Feller insisted upon serving his country.
For more information on Bob Feller and to sign the petition, click HERE.
In his 18-year career, all with the Indians, Feller won 266 games, still a club record. He also owns the Indians all-time records in starts, innings, strikeouts and complete games.
If you go to and Indians game you can check out Feller's memorabilia for free.
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