What's The Fate For The Bob Feller Museum? - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

What's The Fate For The Bob Feller Museum?

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By: Claire Powell
cpowell@myabc5.com
@clairenpowell

 

Many Iowans know Bob Feller as "The Heater From Van Meter." The baseball icon grew up in Iowa and created his baseball legacy in Indiana with the Cleveland Indians. 

The Bob Feller Museum opened in Van Meter in 1995, but it has been closed since January 3, 2014.

"Obviously we're not generating enough cash to operate a 200-300 day museum," said Bob Feller Museum President Brandon Sawalich.

The museum closed to save money during the slow winter season. After Feller passed away in 2010, interest in the museum changed.

"Bob would be able to bring in some hall-of-famers, reciprocate with them and after his passing it was more difficult and challenging to do that," said Van Meter Mayor Allen Adams.

Right now, plans are to re-open the museum on baseball's opening day this April. However, the museum only has $10,000 left and they're not sure how long it will last.

"There was a lot of concern, they definitely didn't want to see the museum leaving town and there was rumors that everything was going to move to Cleveland," said Mayor Adams.

People in Van Meter want the museum to stay, too.

"It's very important because this is where he was born, grew up, started his career here," said Howard Jones.

Sawalich says there are no plans to close the museum permanently.

"There's no U-Haul rented, no plan to clear it out in the middle of the night. Our goal continues to be how will we continue Bob's rich heritage in the city of Van Meter," said Sawalich.

Sawalich says donations to the museum are always welcomed and they're planning on working hand-in-hand with the Cleveland Indians in hopes to collaborate on a plan to keep the Iowa museum open.

"It's the last, the only stand-alone museum dedicated to a major league baseball player and it's our goal to keep that intact and going forward," said Sawalich.  

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