Michael Blankers is a native of Davenport, IA. He is a graduate of West High School (Davenport, IA) and Ventura College (Ventura, CA) – with an Associate of Science Degree in Business Management and Associate of Arts Degree in Liberal Arts Studies.
He served in the United States Navy for 24 years, retiring in November 2009 at the rank of Chief Petty Officer. His Navy travels allowed him to either live in, or visit, Australia, China, Guam, Hong Kong, Japan, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Russia, Sicily, Singapore and Hawaii – just to name a few.
Mr. Blankers had the unique opportunity of meeting the Foundation’s namesake, Bob Feller, over the phone – asking the former Chief Petty Officer to be the Guest Speaker for his Navy Retirement Ceremony in 2009. Although “Chief Feller” politely declined the invitation, the sharing of that story with Foundation President Peter Fertig resulted in an invitation to come on board “Team 19” as an Advisor in March 2019.
Little known fact: Thanks to the U.S. Navy’s Enlisted Education Advancement Program (EEAP), he played quarterback on the Ventura College Pirates football team while attending Junior College in Ventura, CA. (Featured story pictured below).
He currently resides in Austin, TX with his wife Romelia and their daughter, Isabella, who attends Kenyon College in Gambier, OH.