PHOENIX — On the mound, Bob Feller and Brad Ziegler could not look less alike. Feller’s overhand fastball was clocked the high-90 mph range, and he hit 107.6 mph in a game at Washington’s old Griffith Park in 1946. Submariner Ziegler gets the same clumsy swings utilizing off-speed pitches in the mid-70s.
In their commitment to service, however, they could not be more alike.
Ziegler is one of six 2014 finalists for the Bob Feller Act of Valor Award, and he and Washington first baseman and fellow finalist Adam LaRoche will receive "quilts of honor" in a ceremony before the Arizona-Washington game today. The quilt is given a token of thanks, solace and remembrance to those who serve, have served or support those who have served in the military.
Ziegler was nominated for the work he does through his "Pastime for Patriots" foundation, which provides educational-based financial assistance and tickets to major league games for military families. The foundation has provided more than 15,000 tickets since 2010.
LaRoche, a former D-backs first baseman, has lent his support to the Wounded Warrior protect at Walter Reed Medical Center outside Washington, D.C.
Feller, a Hall of Famer, won 266 games in an 18-year career spent entirely with Cleveland, spent almost four years of his career in the U.S. Navy after volunteering a few days after the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. In 1946, his first full season back, he won 26 games and had 346 strikeouts.
The other 2014 Feller Award finalists, chosen from a field of 12 nominees, are Boston and former ASU second baseman Dustin Pedroia, Milwaukee catcher Jonathan Lucroy, Pittsburgh right-hander Charlie Morton and Cleveland first baseman/DH Nick Swisher.