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