VAN METER, Iowa (AP) — The Bob Feller Museum is scheduled to reopen April 5, but financial troubles are threatening its survival in his central Iowa hometown of Van Meter.
The lack of money forced the museum's closure Jan. 3. It opened in 1995 to honor the Hall of Fame pitcher who was born near the central Iowa city, but has faltered since his death on Dec. 15, 2010.
Museum board member Bob DiBiasio told The Des Moines Register (http://dmreg.co/1bINA95 ) that Feller "was the engine that powered that museum." Since his death, museum membership has fallen and the organization hasn't been able to attract the Hall of Fame-caliber stars who in turn attracted patrons.
"The museum itself just can't move forward," DiBiasio said. "And that's nobody's fault. But it just cannot continue to move forward. It cannot be an entity that loses money."
Feller won 266 games in 18 seasons with the Cleveland Indians. He had 2,581 career strikeouts, pitched three no-hitters and recorded 12 one-hitters. He was voted into the Hall of Fame in 1962, his first year of eligibility.
Museum board President Brandon Sawalich said Hall of Famers would agree to visit the museum at reduced costs as long as Feller would do the same at their events.