Orioles legend Brooks Robinson and former Nationals pitcher Craig Stammen are the recipients of the 2020 Bob Feller Act of Valor Award, and you can watch the virtual ceremony for free! The ceremony will be held on Thursday, November 19, at 6:30 pm.
In a time of such deep division following a major election, it can seem challenging to find something that brings all Americans, from all walks of life, together. The Bob Feller Act of Valor Award combines two of the things that do bring us together – baseball, our national pastime, and our respect and reverence of our active-duty and retired members of the military. The event honors and pays tribute to Bob Feller, a Hall of Fame pitcher for the Cleveland Indians, who enlisted in the U.S. Navy the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Feller was the first American professional athlete to join the military during World War II, and gave up three of his “prime” years as a pitcher to serve our country.
There are six winners of the Bob Feller Act of Valor Award every year, each representing a different category. Winners of each award “possess the values, integrity, and dedication to serving our country that Bob Feller himself possessed.” This year, the recipients are:
Brooks Robinson – MLB Hall of Fame Award
Former Nationals player Craig Stammen – Active MLB Player Award
Aviation Ordnanceman Chief Lacresha Dowdell – Navy Chief Petty Officer Award
Master Sergeant Hermann Kruppa – Marine Corps Jerry Coleman Award
Training Support Center, Great Lakes CSADD – Peer-to-Peer Award (Ashore)
USS America Junior Enlisted Association – Peer-to-Peer Award (Afloat)
I have had the honor of attending the Bob Feller Act of Valor Award ceremony each year since the first ceremony in 2013. Last year, I interviewed the two baseball recipients, Hall of Fame pitcher Randy Johnson and Kansas City Royals pitcher Ian Kennedy. And earlier this year, I was featured on the Act of Valor Award’s American Valor podcast, which you can listen to below – pardon my outdated and incorrect takes on the season from way before it started!
You can register for the 2020 Bob Feller Act of Valor Award ceremony for free by following this link. Alongside the ceremony, there will be a virtual auction where you can bid on autographed items from this year’s winners and prior recipients. The Act of Valor Award ceremony is a great way to support our troops and remember the service of a great American, Bob Feller.