For once, Feller was at his diplomatic best. "I stopped myself from saying, 'Yeah, but you didn't have my curveball.'" That would have been rude. Maybe Johnson was faster. Maybe Nolan Ryan. Maybe ... who knows for sure? Mirror, mirror on the wall....
But no one was ever so compelling a power pitcher as Bob Feller when he came off the farm. It was his speed that made Feller a marvel of his time, and if that time--of davenports and tilling the soil, of Depression and war, of ballplayers dreaming of malted milks and a good bird hunt--is long behind us, the forthright old man is still here, and his good right arm, that marvelous, legendary American limb, is still operating. What a soupbone it was!
So now, Rapid Robert descends the mound, having flung the horsehide one more time to officially inaugurate his day, and through the crowd he saunters, assuring the faithful that he will, at the appointed place, be autographing whatever artifacts are presented to him.
Of course, we do not do last names.