Former Yankees manager Joe Torre and Minnesota Twins pitcher Griffin Jax are the recipients of the 2021 Bob Feller Act of Valor Award. You can watch the virtual ceremony for free, on Thursday, November 18, at 7:30 pm.
The event honors and pays tribute to Bob Feller, Cleveland’s Hall of Fame starting pitcher, 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. The “Heater from Van Meter” was one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history despite the fact that he left the league to serve our country during World War II. Feller’s story is inspirational and an exemplary case of putting country over self.
There are six winners of the Bob Feller Act of Valor Award every year, each representing a different category. Each category relates to Bob Feller and his life experience in some way: an active Major League player, a MLB Hall of Famer, a Navy Chief Petty Officer, a Marine noncommissioned officer, and two honor groups of junior sailors in the Navy. Winners of each award “possess the values, integrity, and dedication to serving our country that Bob Feller himself possessed.” This year, the recipients are:
Joe Torre – MLB Hall of Fame Award
Torre served in the Air National Guard during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. After retiring from a legendary career as both a player and manager, Torre founded the Safe at Home Foundation, which “provides healing and hope” to children fleeing abusive households.
Griffin Jax, RHP, Minnesota Twins – Active MLB Player Award
A starting pitcher, Jax made his Major League debut for the Twins in 2021, compiling a 4-5 record with a 6.37 ERA. Jax is the first graduate of the United States Air Force Academy to play in Major League Baseball. Jax is an officer in the Air Force Reserve, and his wife, Savannah, is a captain in the Air Force.
Air Traffic Controller Chief Joshua A. Sawyer – Navy Chief Petty Officer Award
First Sergeant Daniel P. Best– Marine Corps Jerry Coleman Award
Training Support Center, Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions, Great Lakes, IL – Peer-to-Peer Award (Ashore)
Junior Enlisted Association, USS Germantown – 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. Two years ago, I interviewed the two baseball recipients, Hall of Fame pitcher Randy Johnson and former Phillies pitcher Ian Kennedy. And last year, I was featured on the Act of Valor Award’s American Valor podcast, which you can listen to below.
You can register for the 2021 Bob Feller Act of Valor Award ceremony for free by following this link. The Act of Valor Award ceremony is a great way to support our troops and remember the service of a great American, Bob Feller.
On this Veterans Day, I dedicate this post to the service men and women who risked their lives for the safety and security of our nation. Thank you for your generosity, service, and selflessness to the United States.
To learn more about the Bob Feller Act of Valor Award Foundation, visit actofvaloraward.org