LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

CLEVELAND -- A new award has been created honoring the legacy of Indians Hall of Famer, Bob Feller.

The Indians, MLB, the Baseball Hall of Fame and the USS Alabama Battleship Commission have all announced their support for the Bob Feller Act of Valor Award.

The award will be given each year to one MLB player, a Hall of Famer and the Award Trust has also proposed that the U.S. Navy support a companion award to be given to a Navy Service member each year as well.

Finalists for the Feller award will be announced in a ceremony around Memorial Day at Progressive Field. Winners will receive their award in a ceremony on Veterans Day in Washingon, D.C.

"This distinctly unique award will reward those who can measure up to Bob Feller's courage and the strict standards by which he lived his life, every single day," said Peter Fertig, creator of the award. John Cochrane, an Islip, N.Y., Councilman and a former Captain in the U.S. Navy for over 30 years, assisted in the creation of the award.

Feller enlisted in the Navy at the age of 23 immediately following Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. He enlisted although he possessed a deferment which would have exempted him from military service.

Feller served aboard the USS Alabama and saw action in the Pacific theater of WWII before being discharged in August 1945.

Feller missed nearly four seasons of his professional baseball career due to his service to his country but went to become one of the best pitchers in baseball history.

The hard-throwing right-hander struck out 15 batters in his first Major League start - as a 17-year-old - and went on to record 266 wins and record six 20-win seasons. His fastball was once clocked at 107.9mph. He led the American League in victories six times and strikeouts seven times.

Feller was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962 along with Jackie Robinson.

"The Indians share strong feelings for Bob's contribution to our organization and this country, and are proud to share in the creation of this award," said Bob DiBiasio, the Indians Senior Vice President of Public Affairs. "We look forward to working with the Navy to establish an award of which we can all be proud."

Players nominated for the award will be judged on theircharacter both on and off the field, charitable work and support of the U.S. and its service members.

The winners will receive a bronze bust of Feller.

Feller died in 2010 at the age of 92.

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE