Bell in 1953
November 15, 1928|
|Died: May 7, 1995
|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|
David Russell "Gus" Bell, Jr. (November 15, 1928 – May 7, 1995) was an American center and right fielder in Major League Baseball who played with the Pittsburgh Pirates (1950–52), Cincinnati Reds/Redlegs (1953–61), New York Mets (1962) and Milwaukee Braves (1962–64). He batted left-handed and threw right-handed.
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, is a former third baseman, coach and manager, and his grandsons, David and Mike, are a pair of infielders.
A four-time All-Star selection, Bell 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.
On April 11, 1962, Bell 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 St. Louis. Those 1962 Mets lost 120 games, still the most defeats for a Major League team in a single season since the 19th Century.
In a 15-year career, Bell was a .281 hitter with 206 home runs and 942 RBI in 1741 games.
Every year, a Celebrity Golf Tournament is held in his honor. Proceeds benefit the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati. Gus' granddaughter Traci, to whom he was very close, has Down Syndrome. The tournament is held in mid-July every year; in 2005 it celebrated its tenth anniversary. The current tournament staff includes Deborah Baker, Ty Steele, Gus' widow Joyce Bell-Dolle, and her husband Don Dolle.
- 4-time All-Star (1953–54, 1956–57)
- Hit for the cycle (June 4, 1951)
- Hit three home runs in consecutive at-bats (May 29, 1956)
- Inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in 1964
- Bell, Ted Kluszewski and Bob Thurman became the second trio of teammates with a 3-HR game in the same season (1956), tying a major league single-season record with Duke Snider, Roy Campanella and Tommy Brown (Brooklyn Dodgers, 1950) and Cory Snyder, Joe Carter and Brook Jacoby (Cleveland Indians, 1987).
- On June 28, 2004, David Bell hit for the cycle in a Phillies 14–6 win over the Expos, joining his grandfather, Gus Bell. They are the only grandfather-grandson duo in major league history to accomplish that feat.
- In 1957, Bell and six of his Redleg teammates—Ed Bailey, Johnny Temple, Roy McMillan, Don Hoak, 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. Bell entered the game as a pinch hitter for Robinson in the seventh and drove in both Mays and Bailey with a single against Early Wynn.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference
- Baseball Library
- The Baseball Almanac Family Tree
- The Deadball Era