Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Robert Feller, July 3, 1979

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:03 - Feller's military service / lack of current leadership

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Partial Transcript: Basically, I'd like to talk a little bit about your, uh, tour in the service...

Segment Synopsis: Feller discusses his military service and some of his reasons for serving. He also describes what he feels is a lack of leadership in modern (1979) society.

[there are loud background noises]

Keywords: "3C"; Bernard Gimbel; Frank Knox; Gene Tunney; USS Alabama; anti-aircraft gunnery; anti-aircraft guns; battleships; boxing; cancer; department stores; fans; fathers; gun crews; informal baseball teams; leaders; leadership; mothers; physical conditioning; responsibilities; sailors; sisters; sons; stepchildren

Subjects: Baseball; Military service, Voluntary.; Naval Station Great Lakes (Ill.).; United States. Navy.; World War, 1939-1945

00:04:55 - Players Feller knew at Naval Station Great Lakes / former servicemen playing baseball during the 1945 season

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Partial Transcript: When you, uh, when you were at Great Lakes you played with a lot of major league ball players...

Segment Synopsis: Feller mentions some of the baseball players he played with at Naval Station Great Lakes. He also talks about players who returned to their baseball careers after serving in World War II.

[there are loud background noises]

Keywords: Kenny Kilmer; ball clubs; major league players; managers; minor leagues; pennants; records; veterans

Subjects: Baseball players; Boston Red Sox (Baseball Team); Boudreau, Lou, 1917-2001; Chicago White Sox (Baseball Team); Cincinnati (Ohio); Cleveland Indians (Baseball Team); Major League Baseball (Organization); Minor league baseball.; Naval Station Great Lakes (Ill.); St. Louis Browns (Baseball Team); St. Louis Cardinals (Baseball Team)

00:08:39 - Barn storming and its decline

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Partial Transcript: Where did you get the idea to do this?

Segment Synopsis: Feller shares how he and other players barn stormed to recoup some of the money that they lost during the war. He also gives some of the reasons for why the practice began to die out in the late 1940's.

[there are loud background noises]

Keywords: "barn storming"; Black All-Stars; Cleveland ball club; Dapper Dan Dinner; Honolulu (Hawaii); World Series; baseball games; club owners; equipment; football; money; resentment; salaries; television; traveling

Subjects: African American baseball players; American League (Major League Baseball); Baseball; Baseball players; Chandler, Happy, 1898-1991; Integration; Kansas City Monarchs (Baseball Team)

00:13:10 - Financial planning for barn storming / African American baseball players / current leadership

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Partial Transcript: I understand he had you ensured for quite a bit.

Segment Synopsis: Feller talks about the financial aspects of barn storming and the preparations that he made for it. He also discusses his interactions with African American baseball players before segregation and gives his opinions on the lack of current leadership.

Keywords: Cleveland Ball Club; Negro American League; Ro-Fel, Inc.; airplanes; behavior; club owners; competition; fans; good behavior; governors; incorporation; insurance; leaders; leadership; leverage; liability insurance; money; planning; records; umpires

Subjects: Baseball players; Catchers (Baseball); Paige, Satchel, 1906-1982; Pitchers (Baseball); World War, 1939-1945

00:17:38 - Black and white baseball players / characteristics of baseball and baseball players / Jackie Robinson's technique

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Partial Transcript: When, uh, again having involved yourself so much in barn storming...

Segment Synopsis: Feller gives his opinions on some of the baseball players he knew, both black and white. He talks about the characteristics of baseball as a national pastime and what makes for a great baseball player. He also comments on Jackie Robinson's technique. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: Frank Howard; Jimmy Fox; Willy Mays; baseball as an institution; conduct; fastball pitchers; fastballs; hockey; luck; national pastimes; overpowering high fastball; technique

Subjects: Aaron, Hank, 1934-; African American baseball players; Baseball; Baseball players; Boudreau, Lou, 1917-2001; Football players; Football.; Greenberg, Hank; Major League Baseball (Organization); National League (Major League Baseball); Pitchers (Baseball); Robinson, Jackie, 1919-1972; Ruth, Babe, 1895-1948.