Eleven players nominated for Feller Award
Named after Hall of Famer, honor emphasizes former Tribe pitcher's values
The Bob Feller Act of Valor Award Foundation announced 11 nominees for its annual award that honors three individuals who reflect the values of the Hall of Famer and former Indians pitcher.
The award, created in 2013 with the support of the United States Navy, the Cleveland Indians, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, the Battleship USS Alabama and Anne Feller, is presented to one U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer, one Baseball Hall of Famer and one active MLB player.
The active MLB nominees are: Arizona's Brad Ziegler, Baltimore's Darren O'Day, Boston's Dustin Pedroia, Cincinnati's Jay Bruce, Cleveland's Nick Swisher, Colorado's Michael Cuddyer, Kansas City's Billy Butler, Miami's Mike Dunn, Milwaukee's Jonathan Lucroy, Oakland's Sean Doolittle and Washington's Adam LaRoche.
Finalists for the active player award will be announced and recognized on July 5 at Progressive Field and winners in all three categories will be honored in a Veterans Day ceremony in Washington, D.C., at the United States Navy Memorial.
In 1941 at the age of 23, Feller voluntarily enlisted in the Navy following the attacks at Pearl Harbor. He missed four Major League seasons while serving aboard the USS Alabama and was decorated with six campaign ribbons and eight battle stars. But Feller recognized the true meaning of Memorial Day, saying: "I'm no hero. Heroes don't come back. Survivors return home."
The foundation also seeks to educate Americans on military and national pride.
"In addition to the annual awards, the Bob Feller Act of Valor Award Foundation will use the Bob Feller story to teach the youth of today the lessons of citizenship, service to one's country, and sacrifice in times of great national need," Indians senior vice president of public affairs and award foundation board member Bob DiBiasio said. "Teaching the legacy of the greatest generation to the youngest generation will help instill in them the virtue of service to others."