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Help the effort to honor a Cleveland baseball legend

The Cleveland Indians have filed a petition to President Barack Obama, launching a campaign to have All-Star pitcher Bob Feller honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom—and the effort needs your help.

The petition requires 100,000 signatures by March 4 to require a response from the White House. As of today, more than 85,000 signatures are still needed.

The Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian award in the United States and is given "for especially meritorious contribution to (1) the security or national interests of the United States; (2) world peace; or (3) cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."

Bob DiBiasio, the Indians’ senior vice president of public affairs, said in a release: "In addition to the incredible and lasting impact Bob made on the Indians organization, we think his meritorious contribution to the security and national interests of the United States makes him worthy of consideration for the Presidential Medal of Freedom."

Here’s some background on Feller’s military contributions from

“When Pearl Harbor was attacked, Feller was coming off his sixth season with the Indians. The Hall of Fame right-hander had been an All-Star four years running and was in the prime of his baseball career when he volunteered to serve in the Navy. Feller could have requested a deferment, given that his father was terminally ill with cancer at the time, but the pitcher insisted on serving immediately.

“Feller served aboard the USS Alabama and missed parts of four seasons (1942-45) while aiding the United States' efforts. He earned the rank of Chief Petty Officer and participated in the Battle of the Philippine Sea. (He) was decorated with six campaign ribbons and eight battle stars.”

Click to learn more about the petition and how to sign it.