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. Defensively, he recorded a career .985 fielding percentage at all three outfield positions.
Bell in 1961
|Born: November 15, 1928|
|Died: May 7, 1995 (aged 66)|
|May 30, 1950, for the Pittsburgh Pirates|
|Last MLB appearance|
|May 1, 1964, for the Milwaukee Braves|
|Runs batted in||942|
|Career highlights and awards|
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.
Bell played for the Pirates from 1950 through 1952. On June 4, 1951, he hit for the cycle against the Philadelphia Phillies. 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.
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. 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.
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.
In May 1962, Bell was sent to Milwaukee; he played for the Braves until being released in May 1964.
Bell was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in 1964. 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. Bell died in May 1995, at Bethesda North Hospital near Cincinnati; he had recently had a heart attack. 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.
| Hitting for the cycle
June 4, 1951
The 1952 Pittsburgh Pirates season was the team's 71st season in Major League Baseball, and their 66th season in the National League. The Pirates posted a record of 42 wins and 112 losses, their worst record since 1890, and one of the worst in major league history.1953 Cincinnati Redlegs season
The 1953 Cincinnati Redlegs season was a season in American baseball. The team finished sixth in the National League with a record of 68–86, 37 games behind the Brooklyn Dodgers. The team changed its name from "Reds" to "Redlegs" prior to this season in response to rampant American anti-communist sentiment during this time period.1953 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The 1953 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 20th playing of the mid-summer classic between the All-Stars teams of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 14 at Crosley Field in Cincinnati, home of the Cincinnati Redlegs of the National League. The team changed its name from Reds to Redlegs this season, during the height of anti-communism in the United States; it returned to the Reds six years later.
This was the second All-Star Game at Crosley Field, which had previously hosted fifteen years earlier in 1938. This game was originally scheduled for Braves Field in Boston, which had hosted in 1936. When the Braves relocated to Milwaukee in mid-March, the game was awarded to Cincinnati.1954 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The 1954 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 21st playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 13, 1954, at Cleveland Municipal Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio the home of the Cleveland Indians of the American League.1956 Cincinnati Redlegs season
The 1956 Cincinnati Redlegs season consisted of the Redlegs finishing in third place in the National League with a record of 91–63, two games behind the NL Champion Brooklyn Dodgers. The Redlegs were managed by Birdie Tebbetts and played their home games at Crosley Field, where they drew 1,125,928 fans, third-most in their league.1956 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The 1956 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 23rd playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 10, 1956, at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C. the home of the Washington Senators of the American League.1957 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The 1957 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 24th playing of the midseason exhibition baseball game between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 9, 1957, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri, the home of the St. Louis Cardinals of the National League. The game was marked by controversy surrounding Cincinnati Redlegs fans stuffing the ballot box and electing all but one of their starting position players to the game. The game resulted in the American League defeating the National League 6–5.1961 Cincinnati Reds season
The 1961 Cincinnati Reds season was a season in American baseball. It consisted of the Reds winning the National League pennant with a 93–61 record, four games ahead of the runner-up Los Angeles Dodgers, but losing the World Series in five games to the New York Yankees. The Reds were managed by Fred Hutchinson, and played their home games at Crosley Field. The Reds were also the last team to win the National League in the 154-game schedule era, before going to a 162-game schedule a year later.
Cincinnati's road to the World Series was truly a remarkable one, as the Reds went through significant changes in a single season to improve from a team that won just 67 games and finished 28 games behind the eventual World Series Champion Pittsburgh Pirates in 1960. The architect of the turnaround was the Reds' new general manager Bill DeWitt, who left his role as president and general manager of the Detroit Tigers after the end of the 1960 season to replace Gabe Paul as the Reds' GM. Paul was hired as the general manager of the expansion Houston Colt .45s.
DeWitt, who had a short history of successful trades in Detroit including acquiring Norm Cash and Rocky Colavito, went to work at the 1960 Winter Meetings for Cincinnati. DeWitt found trade partners in the Milwaukee Braves and the Chicago White Sox. In essentially a three-team trade, the Reds acquired pitchers Joey Jay and Juan Pizarro for slick-fielding shortstop Roy McMillan on Dec. 15, 1960. On that same day, the Reds then traded Pizzaro and pitcher Cal McLish to the White Sox for third baseman Gene Freese. It was the fourth time Freese had been traded in 18 months. Most recently, the White Sox had acquired Freese from the Philadelphia Phillies for future all star Johnny Callison in December 1959.
Reds owner Powel Crosley, Jr. died suddenly of a heart attack at his home in Cincinnati 13 days before the start of the season. DeWitt would eventually purchase 100% of the team ownership from Crosley's estate by year's end.
The Reds began the season with Freese at third base, sure-handed Eddie Kasko moved from third (where he played in 1960) to shortstop and long-time minor leaguer Jim Baumer at second base. Baumer was one of MLB's "feel good" stories. After playing in nine games with the White Sox in 1949 as an 18 year old rookie, Baumer returned to the minor leagues and didn't make it back to the big league for 11 years. The Reds drafted Baumer during the Rule 5 draft after the Pittsburgh Pirates left him unprotected. After a solid spring training with the Reds, Baumer was named starting second baseman to open the season. As the season began, expectations were low for the Reds among baseball "experts." The Reds won their first three games, but then went into a slump, losing 10 of 12. To the surprise of many, it was the Reds' offense that struggled most. Baumer in particular was hitting just .125. DeWitt then made a bold move on April 27, 1961, trading all-star catcher Ed Bailey to the San Francisco Giants for second baseman Don Blasingame, catcher Bob Schmidt and journeyman pitcher Sherman Jones. Blasingame was inserted as starter at second base, and Baumer was traded to the Detroit Tigers on May 10 for backup first baseman Dick Gernert. Baumer never again played in the majors.
On April 30, the Reds won the second game of a double-header from the Pittsburgh Pirates to begin a 9-game winning streak. Exactly a month after the trade of Bailey, the Reds began another win streak, this time six games, to improve to 26-16. Those streaks were part of a stretch where the Reds won 50 of 70 games to improve to 55-30. Cincinnati led Los Angeles by five games at the All Star break.
After the break, the Dodgers got hot and the Reds floundered. After the games of August 13, Los Angeles was 69-40 and led Cincinnati (70-46) by 2½ games, but six in the loss column as the Dodgers had played seven fewer games than the Reds due to multiple rainouts. On Aug. 15, the Reds went into Los Angeles to begin a three-game, two-day series highlighted by a double-header. In the first game of the series, Reds' righty Joey Jay bested Sandy Koufax and the Dodgers, 5-2, as Eddie Kasko had four hits and Frank Robinson drove in two for Cincinnati. In the Wednesday double-header, knuckle-baller Bob Purkey threw a four-hit shutout as the Reds won Game 1, 6-0. In Game 2, Freese hit two home runs off Dodgers' lefty Johnny Podres and Jim O'Toole hurled a two-hitter as the Reds completed the sweep with an 8-0 victory. The Reds left Los Angeles with a half-game lead. It was the Dodgers' fourth-straight loss in what would turn out to be a 10-game losing streak to put the Dodgers in a hole, while the Reds stayed in first-place the rest of the season.
The Reds clinched their first pennant in 21 years on Sept. 26 when they beat the Cubs, 6-3, in the afternoon and the Dodgers lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates, 8-0, in the second game of a doubleheader. The Reds earned a chance to face the mighty New York Yankees in the 1961 World Series.
Outfielders Frank Robinson and Vada Pinson led the Reds offense while starting pitchers Bob Purkey, Jim O'Toole and newcomer Joey Jay were the staff standouts. Robinson (37 homers, 124 RBI, 117 runs scored, 22 stolen bases, .323 average) was named National League MVP. Pinson (208 hits, .343 average, 101 runs scored, 23 stolen bases) and a Gold Glove recipient, finished third in MVP voting. Purkey won 16 games, O'Toole won 19 and Jay won an NL-best 21 games. Jay also finished a surprising fifth in NL MVP voting, one spot ahead of future Hall of Famer Willie Mays who hit 40 home runs and drove in 123 for the Giants, such was the respect the Baseball Writers had for Jay's contributions to the Reds' pennant.
At a position (3B) that the Reds had received little offensive production from in the recent years leading up to 1961, Freese provided a major boost, slugging 26 home runs and driving in 87 runs to go with a .277 average.
Hutchinson, a former MLB pitcher, was masterful in his handling of the pitching staff as well as juggling a lineup that included part-timers (and former slugging standouts) Gus Bell, Wally Post (20, 57, .294) as well as Jerry Lynch (13, 50, .315). For the second straight season, Lynch led the National League with 19 pinch hits. Hutchinson was named Manager of the Year.1962 Milwaukee Braves season
The 1962 Milwaukee Braves season was the tenth for the franchise in Milwaukee and 92nd overall.
The fifth-place Braves finished the season with a 86–76 (.531) record, 15½ games behind the National League champion San Francisco Giants. The home attendance at County Stadium was 766,921, eighth in the ten-team National League. It was the Braves' first season under one million in Milwaukee.
After this season in November, owner Lou Perini sold the franchise for $5.5 million to a Chicago group led by 34-year-old insurance executive William Bartholomay. Perini retained a 10% interest in the club and sat on the board of directors for a number of years.
Ten years after the final television broadcasts in Boston, broadcasts of Braves games returned to a new channel, WTMJ-TV, giving Milwaukee television viewers a chance to watch the games at home.1962 New York Mets season
The 1962 New York Mets season was the first regular season for the Mets, as the National League returned to New York City for the first time since 1957. They went 40–120 (.250) and finished tenth and last in the National League, 60 1⁄2 games behind the NL Champion San Francisco Giants, who once called New York home. The Mets were the latest team to be 60+ games behind in a division before the 2018 Baltimore Orioles finished 61 games behind the World Series Champion Boston Red Sox. The Mets' 120 losses are the most by any MLB team in one season since the 1899 Cleveland Spiders (20–134, .130). Since then, the 2003 Detroit Tigers and 2018 Orioles have come the closest to matching this mark, at 43–119 (.265), and 47-115 (.290), respectively. The Mets' starting pitchers also recorded a new major league low of just 23 wins all season.The team lost its first game 11–4 to the St. Louis Cardinals on April 11, and went on to lose its first nine games. Having repaired their record to 12–19 on May 20 after sweeping a doubleheader against the Milwaukee Braves, the Mets lost their next 17 games. They also lost 11 straight from July 15 to July 26, and 13 straight from August 9 to August 21. Their longest winning streak of the season was three.The Mets were managed by Casey Stengel and played their home games at the Polo Grounds, which was their temporary home while Shea Stadium was being built in Queens. They remain infamous for their ineptitude and were one of the worst teams in Major League Baseball history. Their team batting average, team earned run average (ERA), and team fielding percentage were all the worst in the major leagues that season.Despite the team's terrible performance, fans came out in droves. Their season attendance of 922,530 was good enough for 6th in the National League that year.
The season was chronicled in Jimmy Breslin's humorous best-selling book Can't Anybody Here Play This Game? The title came from a remark made by manager Casey Stengel expressing his frustration over the team's poor play.1964 Milwaukee Braves season
The 1964 Milwaukee Braves season was the team's 12th season in Milwaukee while also the 94th season overall. The fifth-place Braves finished the season with a 88–74 (.543) record, five games behind the National League and World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals.
Milwaukee finished the season with ten wins in the final eleven games; the season's home attendance was 910,911, their highest since 1961, and the highest of the last four seasons in Milwaukee (1962–65).
It was the franchise's penultimate season in Milwaukee. The franchise had attempted to move to Atlanta shortly after this season; it was delayed a year, and the team relocated for the 1966 season.Buddy Bell
David Gus Bell (born August 27, 1951) is an American former third baseman and manager in Major League Baseball (MLB) currently serving as vice president and senior advisor to the general manager for the Cincinnati Reds. After an 18-year career with four teams, most notably the Cleveland Indians, the Texas Rangers, and the Cincinnati Reds, he managed the Detroit Tigers, Colorado Rockies and Kansas City Royals for three seasons each and served as Vice President/Assistant General Manager for the Chicago White Sox. He was a five-time MLB All-Star and won six consecutive Rawlings Gold Glove Awards from 1979–84. He is the son of outfielder Gus Bell and the father of former third basemen Mike and David Bell, making them one of five families to have three generations play in the Major Leagues. When David was named Reds manager in October 2018, he and Buddy became the fourth father-son pair to serve as major league managers, joining George and Dick Sisler, Bob and Joel Skinner, and Bob and Aaron Boone.David Bell (baseball)
David Michael Bell (born September 14, 1972) is an American former professional baseball third baseman, who is currently the manager for the Cincinnati Reds of Major League Baseball (MLB). Over the course of his 12-year MLB playing career, Bell appeared at all four infield positions while playing for the Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Cardinals, Seattle Mariners, San Francisco Giants, Philadelphia Phillies, and Milwaukee Brewers. He made his MLB debut for the Indians in 1995.
After his retirement as an active player, Bell served as manager of the Triple-A Louisville Bats and (former) Double-A Carolina Mudcats, both in the Reds organization, prior to his promotion to Reds skipper, late in 2018.
The grandson of Gus Bell, son of Buddy Bell, and brother of Mike Bell, David Bell is a member of one of five families to have three generations play in the Major Leagues. In addition, David and Buddy are the fifth father-son pair to serve as major league managers, joining Connie and Earle Mack, George and Dick Sisler, Bob and Joel Skinner, and Bob and Brett Boone and Aaron Boone.George Crowe
George Daniel Crowe (March 22, 1921 – January 18, 2011) was a Major League first baseman. He attended Franklin High School in Franklin, Indiana, graduated from Indiana Central College, now the University of Indianapolis, in 1943 and played baseball and basketball. He was the first Indiana "Mr. Basketball". He was a first baseman with a nine-year career from 1952–1953, 1955–1961 and played for the Boston Braves, Milwaukee Braves, Cincinnati Redlegs and St. Louis Cardinals (all of the National League). Crowe hit 31 home runs in 1957, filling in most of the season for the injured Ted Kluszewski.
Crowe also played with the Negro National League's (Rochester) New York Black Yankees in 1948, and played professional basketball for the barnstorming New York Renaissance Big Five (aka "Rens"). In 1947 Crowe played basketball for the integrated Los Angeles Red Devils, a team that also included future Brooklyn Dodger Jackie Robinson. In 1950, Crowe played baseball for the Hartford Chiefs, a minor league team in the Eastern League. He also played winter ball with the Cangrejeros de Santurce (Santurce Crabbers) of the Puerto Rico Professional Baseball League in the 1954-55 season where as a teammate of Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, Buster Clarkson and Bob Thurman, Crowe formed part of the Escuadron Del Panico (Panic Squadron) which led the Crabbers to the league championship and eventually to win the Caribbean World Series.
He was elected to the National League All-Star team in 1958, although Crowe was not used in the All-Star Game. Coincidentally, the year before, fans of his team — the Cincinnati Redlegs (as the Reds were called at the time) — had been involved in a ballot stuffing campaign to put all of the team's regulars in the starting lineup. Ed Bailey, Johnny Temple, Roy McMillan, Don Hoak, Frank Robinson, Gus Bell and Wally Post had been "voted" into the lineup, but Crowe was beaten out in the final vote tally by future Cardinal teammate Stan Musial. Crowe set a record (later broken by Jerry Lynch and subsequently by Cliff Johnson) for most pinch-hit home runs in major league baseball history with 14.
When he switched fielding positions from first base to second base against the Chicago Cubs on the 14th of June, 1958, he completed a double play wearing his oversize "mitt". This led to a rule change that if a first baseman went to field at second or third base, they had to replace their "mitt" with a fielder's glove.He was the younger brother of Ray Crowe, who was the head coach of the Crispus Attucks High School teams that won two consecutive State titles in 1954-55 and 1955–56, led by Oscar Robertson.Jay Hook
James Wesley (Jay) Hook (born November 18, 1936 in Waukegan, Illinois, United States) is a former starting pitcher in Major League Baseball. From 1957 through 1964, Hook played for the Cincinnati Reds (1957–61) and New York Mets (1962–64). He batted left-handed and threw right-handed.In an eight-season career, Hook posted a 29–62 record with 394 strikeouts and a 5.23 ERA in 752.2 innings pitched.Jay attended high school at Grayslake Community High School (now Grayslake Central High School).A bonus baby signed by the Cincinnati Reds out of Northwestern University, Hook made his major league debut with Cincinnati in 1957. He joined the Reds regular pitching rotation in 1960 and had an 11–18 mark, including a two-hit shutout against the Milwaukee Braves.Ineffective in 1961, Hook was acquired by the New York Mets in the 1961 MLB Expansion Draft, along with Hobie Landrith, Elio Chacón, Roger Craig, Gil Hodges, Don Zimmer and Gus Bell, among others.
Hook won the first game in Mets franchise history. On April 23, 1962, he pitched a five-hit 9–1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates at Forbes Field, giving his team its first regular-season victory after nine defeats. In that season he compiled an 8–19 mark for the Mets, and led the team in complete games (13) and games started (34).Those 1962 Mets had a record of 40–120, still the most losses for any Major League team in a single season since the 19th Century.
After receiving a master's degree in thermodynamics, Hook retired in 1964 at age 28 to take a job with Chrysler Corporation.
Jay Hook and his wife Joan now reside in Maple City, Michigan.Johnny Temple
John Ellis Temple (August 8, 1927 – January 9, 1994) was a Major League Baseball second baseman who played for the Redlegs/Reds (1952–59; 1964); Cleveland Indians (1960–61), Baltimore Orioles (1962) and Houston Colt .45s (1962–63). Temple was born in Lexington, North Carolina. He batted and threw right-handed.
Temple was a career .284 hitter with 22 home runs and 395 RBI in 1420 games. A legitimate leadoff hitter and four-time All-Star, he was a very popular player in Cincinnati in the 1950s. Throughout his career, he walked more often than he struck out, compiling an outstanding 1.92 walk-to-strikeout ratio (648-to-338) and a .363 on-base percentage. Temple also had above-average speed and good instincts on the base paths. Quietly, he had 140 steals in 198 attempts (71%).
In 1957, Temple and six of his Redleg teammates—Ed Bailey, Roy McMillan, Don Hoak, Gus Bell, Wally Post and Frank Robinson—were voted into the National League All-Star starting lineup, the result of a ballot stuffing campaign by Redlegs 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.
Temple enjoyed his best year in 1959, with career-highs in batting average (.311), home runs (8), RBI (67), runs (102), hits (186), at-bats (598), doubles (35) and triples (6). At the end of the season he was sent to Cleveland for Billy Martin, Gordy Coleman and Cal McLish.Temple also played with Baltimore and Houston, and again with Cincinnati for his last major season, where he was a part-time coach. In August 1964, he cleaned out his locker after having a fight with fellow coach, Reggie Otero. When Fred Hutchinson had to leave the Reds due to his health, Cincinnati management decided to go with only two coaches and not reinstate Temple.After his baseball career was over, Temple worked as a television newsman in Houston, Texas and got involved with a business that sold boats and RVs. The business failed causing Temple to lose everything, including his home. In 1977, Temple was arrested and charged with larceny of farm equipment. Through the efforts of his wife, who wrote a public letter to The Sporting News, Temple got legal assistance. He gave testimony to the South Carolina assembly against his criminal partners.Temple died in Anderson, South Carolina in 1994 at the age of 66.Keokuk Indians
After baseball began in Keokuk, Iowa in 1875, the Keokuk Indians was the primary nickname of Keokuk minor league baseball teams. After the Indians (1904–1915, 1929–1933, 1935), Keokuk was home of the Keokuk Pirates (1947–1949), Keokuk Kernels (1952–1957), Keokuk Cardinals (1958–1961) and the Keokuk Dodgers (1962). Notable Keokuk alumni include Bud Fowler, Roger Maris and Tim McCarver.Mike Bell (third baseman)
Michael John Bell (born December 7, 1974) is currently the Director of Player Development for the Arizona Diamondbacks, former coach for the Visalia Rawhide and the Yakima Bears, and former third baseman in Major League Baseball who played for the Cincinnati Reds in the 2000 season. He is the brother of David Bell, son of Buddy Bell and grandson of Gus Bell.Regional Football League
The Regional Football League (RFL) was an American football league formed to be the self-styled "major league of spring football." Established in 1997, the league played a single season, 1999, and then ceased operations.
Members of the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame