Bob Feller: Ailing Baseball Legend Enters Hospice

COOPERSTOWN, NY - JULY 25: Hall of Famer Bob Feller attends the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony at Clark Sports Center on July 25, 20010 in Cooperstown, New York. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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bob feller
Pitching legend Bob Feller attends the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Cooperstown, N.Y., on July 25, 2010. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)


(CBS/AP) It's the bottom of the ninth for baseball great Bob Feller.

The 92-year-old Hall of Fame pitcher was transferred from the Cleveland Clinic, where he was treated for pneumonia, to a Cleveland-area hospice. That's the word from Bob DiBiasio, vice president of public relations for the Cleveland Indians, Feller's old team.

Feller's health has been in decline in recent months. He was diagnosed with leukemia in August, and after fainting while undergoing chemotherapy, Feller had a pacemaker implanted. He's also been treated for vertigo and thrush, a fungal infection of the mucous membranes lining the mouth and throat, according to Cleveland.com.

Entering a hospice doesn't mean that a patient no longer receives care, despite what some people believe. It means simply that any treatments the patient receives are geared not toward curing an illness but toward making the patient comfortable as the end of life draws near, according to the Hospice Foundation of America.

Feller won 266 games in 18 seasons - all with the Indians. An eight-time All-Star, Feller interrupted his baseball career to enlist in the Navy during World War II. Feller served three years in the military before returning to the major leagues.

In a recent interview, Feller told Cleveland.com, "My best decision in life was joining the Navy two days after Pearl Harbor."

Was he ever afraid of dying during the war?

"Never gave it a thought," Feller said. "You always knew that if a bullet had your name on it, you were going to get it."