Feller honored at Hall of Fame Classic

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — Anne Feller didn't address the crowd at the Hall of Fame Classic. Her presence alone was enough.

Seven months after her husband died at 92, Bob Feller was honored Sunday by the organizers of a game the Cleveland Indians great wholeheartedly embraced. The game's most valuable player was given the inaugural Bob Feller Player of the Game Award.

"It's an honor. It's wonderful for them to remember him. He would have been so grateful," said Anne Feller, who kissed Dick Williams as she made her way to the mound to a standing ovation and placed a baseball on the rubber before the national anthem.

"It's just wonderful for them to ask me to come and I'm proud to be here to represent Bob, who loved this game. He loved being here. He always loved coming to Cooperstown. He was just so proud of being in the Hall of Fame."

When major league baseball stopped participating in the annual Hall of Fame Game at Doubleday Field three years ago, this one-stoplight village found a hero in Feller, who was used to playing that role. Feller, who was enshrined in Cooperstown in 1962, didn't want to see a tradition die after nearly seven decades.

"Bob loved everything to do with Cooperstown," Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson said. "He was the first to enlist in World War II. He was the first to enlist for the Hall of Fame Classic three years ago. He meant a great deal to the game and he stood for everything the Hall of Fame is all about — character, integrity, sportsmanship and great interaction with the fans."

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