Ex-Jay Derek Bell turned 38 earlier this week. On the same day, not an
"ex-Jay" but really a Jay, that is, Jay Bell turned 41. Neither is the
best major league player to have been born on Dec. 11 (okay, okay, this
should have been posted earlier!), but they are two of the 36 MLB
alumni to bear the last/family name "Bell" (or at least to have that as
part of their last/family name -- hello Albert Belle, Mark Bellhorn and
others); another three have had the middle name "Bell," and per Hall of
Names standards, they will be referenced only if necessary.
That said, let's "ring in" a new Hall of Names team that may a-peal to many of you as we meet ...
The Bells of the the Ball
(Baseball, That Is)
** indicates Hall of Famer
* indicates All-Star
MGR Buddy Bell (450-631 through 2006)
C Jack Bellman (.500! -- 1-for-2, 1889 SLB)
1B Beau Bell* (mostly OF; 240 RBI for 1936-37 SLB; .297, 1935-41)
2B Ron Belliard* (.272 through 2006)
SS Jay Bell* (.265/195/860 in 18 years)
3B Buddy Bell* (player/manager; .279, 201 homers in 18 years)
LF George A. Bell* (.278/265/1002 in 12 years; '87 AL MVP)
CF Cool Papa Bell** (Negro League HOF)
RF Gus Bell* (.281/206/942 in 15 years)
DH Albert Belle* (.295/381/1239 in 12 years)
C/OF/3B Frank Bell (.172, 10 games, 1885 Brooklyn Grays)
IF Juan Bell (George's brother, .212, 1989-95)
OF Fern Bell (.283, 1939-40 PIT)
3B/2B/UTIL David Bell (.257 in 12 years through 2006)
IF Mark Bellhorn (.231 in nine years through '06)
UTIL Clay Bellinger (.193, 1999-2002; all but C)
RHSP Gary Bell* (121-117 in 12 years)
RHSP George G. Bell (43-79, 1907-11)
RHSP Rob Bell (30-34, 2000-05)
LHSP Eric Bell (15-18, 1985-93)
RHSP Charlie Bell (4-6, three teams, 1889, '91)
CL-RH Hi Bell (32-24, 34 saves, 1924-34)
RHRP Bill Bell (0-1, 1952, '55 PIT)
LHRP Ralph Bell (6IP, 6ER, 1912 CHW)
RHRP Heath Bell (1-5 with NYM through '06)
RH-LONG Jerry Bell (17-11, 1971-74 MIL)
Chiming in ... NYM LHRP Royce Ring is, of course, not eligible and, to force the pun a second time, has no basis for a-peal ... Speaking of which, nobody named Peal has ever played big league ball ...
Many a time in big league annals, a stalwart backstop has had his proverbial bell rung by a charging runner rounding third and barreling into home, but there really hasn't been an obvious candidate to strap on the gear and take the starting catching job for this team ... The best of the Bell backstops was probably Harold Bell "Rowdy" Elliott, who hit .241 in parts of six seasons between 1910 and 1920 -- but he's a middle-named guy ...
So, behind the plate, do we go with Terry Bell, who was 0-for-4 with the 1986 Royals and 1987 Braves? Or maybe utilityman Frank Bell (C/OF/3B), who hit .172 in 10 games with the 1885 Brooklyn Grays, or C/RHRP (yes, you read that right) William Bell Harman, who didn't succeed all that much with the bat (career .091 BA) or stopping bats (career 4.85 ERA) with the 1941 Phillies? ... After all that, we'll end up going with Jack Bellman, who retired from The Great Game with a career batting average of .500, after a 1-for-2 cuppajoe with the 1889 St. Louis Browns ...
Bellman is actually the only player in the entire nine-man starting lineup (including DH) who never made an All-Star team ... And that's a nice versatility available on the bench -- which doesn't even include the last four cuts, middle IFs Rafael Belliard (.221 over 17 years) and Rob Belloir (.216, 1975-78 ATL) and corner guys Mike A. Bell (.200, 1990-91 ATL) and Les Bell (.290, 1923-31) ...
The pitching staff doesn't have much in the way of lefties to offer, and the last man cut is another righty (and another middle-namer to boot) in Bruce Bell Taylor who was 2-2 with two saves for the 1977-79 Tigers ... The starting rotation, sporting a combined career mark of 213-254, won't scare anyone ... Interesting thing about the pitching staff -- all five starters AND all five relievers actually bear the family name "Bell" while five of the 15 position players had alternative family names containing Bell ... Yes, that's completely unimportant and perhaps irrelevant ...
So what say, Bauxites? Can you Bell-y up any better candidates for this team?