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In Cleveland, fans gathered at Progressive Field to pay tribute.

The center field flag was lowered to half-staff and crews hung red, white and blue banners marking Feller’s baseball career and Navy service. Fans placed memorials, including a bouquet of flowers, a bag of sunflower seeds and an inscribed “A” for Feller’s wartime service on the USS Alabama, on the base of the statue bearing his likeness.

Gary Schultz of Kent, Ohio, wearing an Indians jacket, stopped by the statue to take a photo.

“He’s just the epitome of Cleveland and baseball,” Schultz said.

His neighbor, Rich Aber, was renewing his season tickets Thursday and reminisced about meeting Feller at spring training in Goodyear, Ariz.

“The only signed baseball I’ve got is by Bob,” Aber said. “I’m really glad I had a chance to meet him and shake his hand, which was very large and strong.”

Among the many star ballplayers who made the journey to Van Meter _ a town of about 1,000 people whose claim to fame is Feller and little else _ was fellow Hall of Famer Bobby Doerr.

Doerr, now 92, was a close friend of Feller’s from their time battling for the AL pennant.

Bob was just a regular, solid person. He was the same guy, all the time. He gave his opinions and he said what he thought. He didn’t hedge around anything,” Doerr said in a statement released by the Hall. “He was one of the top pitchers I saw in my time.”


AP Sports Writer Tom Withers and Thomas J. Sheeran of The Associated Press contributed to this report.