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Whenitwasagame.net themes and content are dedicated to the remembrance, celebration and preservation of our baseball heritage.
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Unnatural
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threatens
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We the fans, the true “owners” of baseball, must hold the commissioner, the team owners, the players and their union accountable.
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Power surge
The '50s was the decade of power and the numbers put up by the untainted athletes were impressive.
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INSIDE:

CLUBHOUSE
CRONICLES

Jimmy Palermo, during a historic 7-day span in May, 1939, saw the meteoric rise of Williams and tragic decline of Gehrig.

THE GAME'S
GOLDEN ERA

An exclusive WIWAG ongoing feature.


MEMORIES
The field seemed vast to a 7-year old who had looked forward to this day for two months.

BREAKING THE COLOR LINE
The year marks the 60th anniversary of the first major league tryout for black players.

SPECIAL COLOR
LINE TIMELINE

Bud Fowler is the first know black players on an integrated team.

BOOMING BATS
of the '50s

Qualify as Grade A10.


AMERICA'S ORIGINAL
SPORTS BAR
First sports bar featured 12-inch Farnsworth TV.

BASEBALL
HISTORIANS

Two unsuspecting vintage baseball fans rediscover a "National Treasure."
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BELL'S CHOICE of lumber was a Louisville Slugger (model G102) with a signature barrel stamp.






GUS BELL, the Reds' four-time all-star center fielder, used this bat in an August, 1955 series against the Cardinals. He blasted a two-run homer in an 8-7 loss to the Cards in the first game, and a solo homer in a 5-4 Cincinnati win in the second game of that series. The 1955 season was Bell's most productive in a stellar career -  posting a .308 average with 27 round-trippers and 104 RBIs.

GUS BELL

ALL-STAR: 1953, 1954, 1956, 1957

Bell was one of Major League baseball's most feared hitters during the decade of the '50s

Popular with the fans and other ballplayers, Gus is still fondly remembered as one of baseball's "good guys"

MAJOR LEAGUE ALL-STAR

GUS BELL played 15 years, three with the Pirates, nine with the Reds and ended his career with the Mets and Braves.
GUS BELL WEB LINKS

Gus Bell began his Major League career on May 30, 1950 with the Pittsburgh Pirates at the age of 22. He played for 15 seasons for the Pirates, Reds, Mets and Braves — and ended his big league playing career in 1964.

Bell's parents so admired catcher Gus Mancuso they nicknamed their son Gus, but instead of being a catcher, he became a power-hitting outfielder. Bell was hitting .400 at Indianapolis when he was called up to the Pirates in 1950, joining Ralph Kiner in the Bucs' outfield.

After two strong seasons, he spent part of 1952 back in the minors because of a dispute with the Pirate front office. The Pirate General Manager, Branch Rickey, traded Bell to the Reds in 1953 for three second-line players. Rickey would later admit that trade was one of the worst deals he ever made. Bell became a Reds star and mainstay in the outfield much to the chagrin of Rickey. As a Cincinnati Red, he made the National League all-star team in 1953, 1954, 1956 and 1957.

In his best season, 1953, Bell hit .300, had 37 doubles, 5 triples, 30 home runs, scored 102 runs and rang-up 105 RBIs. From 1953 to 1957, he hit .300, .299, .308, .292 and .292 — and drove in 100 runs in four different years. On Sept. 21, 1955, he slugged three homers in a single game and drove in 8 runs. The next year, on May 29, 1956 he again hit three homeruns in a game — and went 5 for 5.


GUS BELL, as a Cincinnati Red, made the National League all-star team in 1953, 1954, 1956 and 1957.

During his stellar career, Bell had a .281 lifetime average, 1,823 hits, 311 doubles, 66 triples, 206 HRs, 942 RBIs and a slugging percentage of .445.

Although, he's now best remembered as baseball's first of three generations to play in the major leagues (father of Buddy Bell and grandfather of Jay Bell), Gus Bell was one of baseball's most feared hitters and, as an outfielder, ranked high defensively all throughout the 1950s.

Gus was also very popular with the fans and other ballplayers, and is still fondly remembered as one of baseball's "good guys."

GUS BELL: Did you know...

...Bell played 15 years, three with the Pirates, nine with the Reds and ended his career with the Mets and Braves.

...Bell was signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as an amateur free agent before the 1947 season.

 ...Bell was traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates in Oct. 1952 to the Cincinnati Reds for Cal Abrams, Joe Rossi, and Gail Henley.

...Bell was drafted by the New York Mets in Oct. 1961 from the Cincinnati Reds in the 1961 expansion draft.

...Bell was sent by the New York Mets in May 1962 to the Milwaukee Braves to complete an earlier deal made on November 28, 1961. The New York Mets sent a player to be named later and cash to the Milwaukee Braves for a player to be named later and Frank Thomas. The New York Mets sent Gus Bell (May 21, 1962) to the Milwaukee Braves to complete the trade. The Milwaukee Braves sent Rick Herrscher (May 21, 1962) to the New York Mets to complete the trade.

...Bell was released by the Milwaukee Braves on May 12, 1964.

...Bell collected the first hit ever for the expansion New York Mets in 1962.

...Bell was labeled by the Pittsburgh front office as a "trouble maker" and a player who was not playing up to his potential. In fact, during spring training in 1952, his wife and children followed the team and Branch Rickey didn't like that at all. He was accused by Rickey as "not hustling" and thinking more about his family than the Pirates. He was sent down to the minors and spent a couple of months in Hollywood as penance for his attitude and behavior. Rickey subsequently traded him to the Reds between the 1952 and 1953 seasons.

...Bell was born Nov. 15, 1928 in Louisville, Kentucky. He died May 7, 1995 in Montgomery, Ohio at age 66.

GUS BELL, along with Ted Kluszewski, Ray Jablonski, Frank Robinson and Wally Post, was a member of the notorious and powerful "Cincinnati Gang." The Gang, in 1956, tagged National League pitching for 221 HRs, tying the existing team record held by the 1947 Giants.

GUS BELL was one of baseball's most feared hitters during the 1950s, and was also an outstanding outfielder.