20. Bob Feller
‘The Heater from Van Meter’ played for 18 years with the Cleveland Indians. A true prodigy of baseball, Bob Feller bypassed the minor leagues to become the first pitcher to win 24 games in a season before the age of 21. Ted Williams – the man one place above him on this list – called him ‘the fastest and best pitcher I ever saw in my career.’
Feller joined the navy after the bombing of Pearl Harbour. Despite playing for six full seasons before the war, he took four years out to serve as Chief Petty Officer on the USS Alabama. Originally the navy assigned him as a physical training instructor, but he wanted to see combat and would fight in the Battle of the Philippines Sea.