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1946 - new sports floodlight refuses to break when hit by a hard-thrown ball but flattens the ball as well


CD 1966026 E&MP27.112

Electric Lighting

May 26, 1946

General Electric's new sports floodlight, which will light Yankee Stadium for the first time next Monday, not only refuses to break when hit by a hard-thrown ball but flattens the ball as well in the process.

High speed photograph, taken at four one-millionths of a second with a G-E electronic photo light, "freezes" ball on the impact resistant glass window of the floodlight, after the sphere was thrown by a professional pitcher from only 10 feet away. Flattened condition of the ball indicates the pitcher used plenty of "steam" in throwing.

G-E engineers believe even "Rapid Robert" Feller could not peg a ball through the floodlight from 10 feet or any distance. 

Original Caption by Science Service
General Electric

additional information - 10.11.2006 St. Louis Cardinals


This farm boy from Van Meter, Iowa was only 17 when he struck out eight members of the St. Louis Cardinals in three innings of an exhibition game. After this awesome display of pitching, Feller was advised to seek voluntary retirement from high school in order to sign a professional baseball contract. For 20 years, the teenage phenomena was known as "Bullet Bob" and "Rapid Robert." As a rookie, he struckout 15 batters in a single game, which at that time was an American League record. In 1940, Bullet Bob became the first American League pitcher to throw a complete game no-hitter on opening day.

At age 23, his career was interrupted by his four-year enlistment in the Navy. Upon entering the Navy, Feller became an anti-aircraft gunner aboard the U.S.S. Alabama and came out a highly decorated war veteran. He then re-entered Major League Baseball to regain his dominance on the mound. Even though his military career consumed four prime baseball years, Feller ranks 28th in history with 266 wins. He remains the Indians all-time leader in shutouts (46), strikeouts (2,581), innings (3,828) and All-Star appearances (8).

To this day, baseball historians speculate that Bullet Bob might have won 350 games and recorded nearly 3,500 strikeouts had he not joined the military. In 1962, this bullet hit the bulls-eye with an induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Full Name: Robert William Andrew Feller
Nicknames: "Rapid Robert" and "Bullet Bob"
Birth date: November 3, 1918
Birth place: Van Meter, Iowa
Height: 6'
Weight: 185 lbs
Threw: Right
Position: Pitcher

courtesy DHL Presents Major League Baseball Hometown Heroes, broadcast on ESPN

National Museum of American History


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