Sports

Indians legend Feller dead at 92

Bob Feller, the Iowa farm boy whose powerful right arm earned him the nickname "Rapid Robert" and made him one of baseball's greatest pitchers during a Hall of Fame career with the Cleveland Indians, has died. He was 92.

Feller died at 6:15 p.m. Pacific time on Wednesday of acute leukemia at a hospice, said Bob DiBiasio, the Indians vice president of public relations.

Remarkably fit until late in life, and attending Indians games until late into the 2010 season, Feller had suffered serious health setbacks in recent months.

“Nobody lives forever and I’ve had a blessed life,” Feller said in September. “I’d like to stay on this side of the grass for as long as I can, though. I’d really like to see the Indians win a World Series.”

Feller was part of the rotation the last time the Indians won it all – in 1948.

He won 266 games during 18 seasons — all with the Indians, who brought him up to the majors as a 17-year old. He threw three no-hitters and 12 one-hitters.

LEE RECRUITED PHILS

Cliff Lee never wanted to leave Philadelphia. The left-hander, who signed his five-year, $120 million contract with the Phillies on Wednesday, kept telling his former teammates that he wanted to rejoin them even as he played for Seattle, moved on to Texas, and reached a second straight World Series.

Shortly after Lee’s Rangers fell to the San Francisco Giants, agent Darek Braunecker had a conversation with Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock. The agent’s message: Lee really wanted to sign with the Phillies.

Though it never seemed likely, Lee had an offer in his hand by Friday night.

“It felt good to get that offer,” Lee said. “Anytime you’re in a position like that, the more real options you have, the better, especially when this one was from a team I had already played for and enjoyed every second of it.”

SHORT HOPS

The Pittsburgh Pirates signed Centralia first baseman Lyle Overbay and outfielder Matt Diaz. Overbay, 33, who hit 20 home runs last year for Toronto, received a $5 million, one-year deal. Diaz signed a $4.25 million, two-year contract. Rich Harden has agreed to terms on a one-year contract to rejoin the Oakland Athletics. Free agent infielder Ty Wigginton and the Colorado Rockies have agreed to a two-year, $8 million deal. Reliever Randy Choate, who led the AL in appearances this year, agreed to a $2.5 million, two-year contract with Florida.

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