Posted by Andy on December 16, 2010
Bob Feller has passed away at age 92.
He was pretty well before my time and I don't know too much about him or his career.
He missed 3 years for World War II--those were his Age 23, 24, and 25 seasons, as well as most of his Age 26 season. In his 5 full seasons surrounding this gap, he won at least 20 games every time. If you give him 75 extra wins for that missed time, his career win total would have been 341 (11th all-time.) If you give him 91 extra wins (accounting for the fact that he averaged 24+ wins over those 5 surrounding seasons) that would have given him 357 for his career (8th all-time.)
Another way to look at it:
Most wins up to Age 22 season:
|2||Smoky Joe Wood||81||1908||1912||18-22||152||109||88||23||43||.653||999.2|
Feller is way out in the lead for 2 reasons: 1) an early start and 2) being a great pitcher.
That means if he had been able to pitch those 3+ years, he probably would have amassed some of the greatest counting stats ever for a starting pitcher.
Please share your thoughts and memories of Rapid Robert below.