Gus Bell

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Gus Bell
Gus Bell 1961.jpg
Bell in 1961
Outfielder
Born: (1928-11-15)November 15, 1928
Louisville, Kentucky
Died: May 7, 1995(1995-05-07) (aged 66)
Montgomery, Ohio
Batted: Left Threw: Right
MLB debut
May 30, 1950, for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Last MLB appearance
May 1, 1964, for the Milwaukee Braves
MLB statistics
Batting average .281
Home runs 206
Runs batted in 942
Teams
Career highlights and awards

David Russell "Gus" Bell, Jr. (November 15, 1928 – May 7, 1995) was an American outfielder in Major League Baseball from 1950 through 1964, who played with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati Reds, New York Mets and Milwaukee Braves. He batted left-handed and threw right-handed; in a 15-year career, Bell was a .281 hitter with 206 home runs and 942 RBIs in 1741 games.

Career

A native of Louisville, Kentucky, and graduate of Bishop Benedict Joseph Flaget High School, Bell played nine of his 15 seasons with Cincinnati and was the oldest member of a rare three-generation major league family. His son, Buddy, was a third baseman, coach and manager, and his grandsons, David and Mike, were both infielders.

Pittsburgh Pirates

Bell played for the Pirates from 1950 through 1952. On June 4, 1951, he hit for the cycle against the Philadelphia Phillies.[1] In 2004, his grandson David hit for the cycle; Gus Bell and David Bell are the only grandfather-grandson duo in major league history to hit for the cycle.

Cincinnati Reds

With Cincinnati from 1953 through 1961, Bell was a four-time All-Star selection (1953–54, 1956–57). He enjoyed his best seasons in 1953, when he hit .300 with 30 home runs and 105 RBI, and 1955, batting .308 with 27 home runs and 104 RBI. Four times, he recorded more than 100 RBI in a season and hit 103 home runs from 1953 to 1956.

Bell hit home runs in three consecutive at-bats on May 29, 1956.[2] During the 1956 season, Bell, Ted Kluszewski and Bob Thurman became the second trio of teammates each to have three-home run games in the same season. The feat had been accomplished by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1950 (Duke Snider, Roy Campanella and Tommy Brown) and subsequently was equally by the Cleveland Indians in 1987 (Cory Snyder, Joe Carter and Brook Jacoby).

In 1957, Bell and six of his teammates – Ed Bailey, Johnny Temple, Roy McMillan, Don Hoak, Wally Post and Frank Robinson — were voted to the National League All-Star starting lineup, the result of a ballot stuffing campaign by Cincinnati fans. Bell remained on the team as a reserve, but Post was taken off altogether. Bell and Post were replaced as starters by Hank Aaron and Willie Mays. Bell entered the game as a pinch hitter for Robinson in the seventh and drove in both Mays and Bailey with a double against Early Wynn.[3]

New York Mets

Bell started the 1962 season with the Mets, and on April 11, 1962, he was the starting right fielder in the Mets' inaugural game, and also was their first base runner after hitting a single in the second inning of an 11–4 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.[4]

Milwaukee Braves

In May 1962, Bell was sent to Milwaukee; he played for the Braves until being released in May 1964.

Personal life

Bell was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in 1964.[5] After his playing career, he worked for an auto dealership, ran a temporary employment agency, and was a scout for the Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers.[6] Bell died in May 1995, at Bethesda North Hospital near Cincinnati; he had recently had a heart attack.[7] On what would have been Bell's 83rd birthday – November 15, 2011 – he was inducted into the Louisville Catholic Sports Hall of Fame, with a speech by his grandson David.[8][9]

References

  1. ^ "Pittsburgh Pirates 12, Philadelphia Phillies 4". Retrosheet. June 4, 1951.
  2. ^ "Cincinnati Reds 10, Chicago Cubs 4". Retrosheet. May 29, 1956.
  3. ^ "American League 6, National League 5". Retrosheet. July 9, 1957.
  4. ^ "St. Louis Cardinals 11, New York Mets 4". Retrosheet. April 11, 1962.
  5. ^ "Fans Choose Gus Bell For Hall Of Fame". The Newark Advocate. Newark, Ohio. AP. August 20, 1964. Retrieved November 18, 2017 – via newspapers.com.
  6. ^ Rorrer, George (May 9, 1995). "Bell, ex-Flaglet, Reds star, dies". The Courier-Journal. Louisville, Kentucky. Retrieved November 18, 2017 – via newspapers.com.
  7. ^ Rorrer, George (May 9, 1995). "Ex-Reds star Gus Bell dies at 66". The Courier-Journal. Louisville, Kentucky. Retrieved November 18, 2017 – via newspapers.com.
  8. ^ "Louisville Catholic Sports Hall of Fame - Gus Bell Speech" – via YouTube.
  9. ^ Reed, Billy (November 8, 2012). "The Louisville Catholic Sports Hall of Fame". catholicsportsnet.com. Retrieved November 19, 2017.

See also

External links

  • Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Baseball-Reference (Minors), or Retrosheet
  • Gus Bell at Find a Grave
Achievements
Preceded by
Hoot Evers
Hitting for the cycle
June 4, 1951
Succeeded by
Larry Doby
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