Bob Feller was always a major-league winner – and it looks like his museum is going to be a winner, too.
About a dozen miles west of Des Moines, Iowa, on a farm
near Van Meter, Robert William (Bob) Feller was born on November 3,
1918. He was signed to a Cleveland Indians contract in 1935 — when he
was only 16 years old — and, the next season, hit the highlight reels
by striking out 15 St. Louis Browns and 17 Philadelphia Athletics during
league play. In 1938, he set a major-league record by fanning 18
Detroit Tigers in a nine-inning game. The records go on and on.
A unique Bob Feller museum has been built in Van Meter,
spelling out and exhibiting all of his accomplishments. And one of the
neat things is, you could run across the likes of Yogi Berra — who
occasionally stops by as Feller’s guest. Bob doesn’t live in Van Meter
— after pitching for the Indians from 1936 to 1956, he retired near
Cleveland — but he visits frequently.
Among the exhibits is the bat that Babe Ruth was seen leaning
on during his last appearance in uniform at Yankee Stadium. The bat
belonged to Feller, who was pitching that day against New York.
To find the museum, turn off Interstate 80 at exit 113 (about
12 miles west of Des Moines). Go one mile south, and you’ll drive right
up to it. Admission is $4 for adults, $2 for seniors and children.
The museum is open year-round, with special winter hours; call (515) 996-2806, or go to bobfellermuseum.org.