A wonderful experience!

To the Editor;

After reading the News Review dated June 5 about Larry Cosner, Jr., at the age of eight, and his experience in meeting President John F. Kennedy in 1963, I had a similar experience in my baseball career at the age of 24 and again at the age of 84. Let me explain in the following paragraphs.

While I was stationed at the Great Lakes Naval Base in 1945, in the Navy, I heard that Bob Feller was the manager and pitcher for the Navy’s baseball team. He had returned to the United States after four years of overseas duty, decorated with five campaign ribbons and studded with eight battle stars. This was the great Bob Feller who began his baseball career with the Cleveland Indians at the age of 17.

I decided to try out for the baseball team and was approved as a catcher by Manager Bob Feller. I was also his catcher for the next several games until I was shipped to the Navy Base in San Diego. The first time I was his catcher, at age 24, and while I was behind the plate giving signals to Bob Feller, it was like I was dreaming and hoped I would never wake up. Bob Feller was voted in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962 with one of the highest voting percentages by the baseball writers. He was one of the greatest pitchers, if not the greatest, in the Major Leagues during his entire career with the Cleveland Indians.

In the year 2004 I decided to write a book entitled “A Coal Miner’s Son and His Dream.” The climax in this book was being the catcher for Bob Feller in 1945. The completed transcript was sent to Bob Feller in 2005 for his written approval. I gave him my phone number. A few days later, I received his call, telling me 100-percent approval in writing is being sent to me plus his baseball picture stating, “To Stan — a fine catcher and Navy shipmate.” When I received his phone call, I was so thrilled, at the age of 84, it was like having the President of the United States calling me.

The book was published in 2006.

Stanley Karotis

Story First Published: 2013-06-12