Sunday, June 7, 2015

HALL OF FAME #22: COOL PAPA BELL: CLASS OF 1974

Today's "Hall of Fame Inductee" is legendary Negro League speedster Cool Papa Bell, recognized as one of the fastest men ever to wear a pair of baseball cleats, and inducted into the Hall in 1974.
Check out the card first:


Depending on where you look, Bell played about 21 years in the Negro Leagues, racking up as many anecdotes about his speed as stolen bases or hits.
He'd go on to become one of the most popular Negro League players in history, and was an eight-time all-star.
According to various records, finished his career with a batting average between .315 and .337, though the exact figures may be lost forever because of spotty record-keeping at the time.
Originally a pitcher when he made his debut for the St. Louis Stars in 1922, he was soon converted to an outfielder to utilize his all around athleticism.
He even excelled in the Mexican League from 1938 to 1941,  taking home a Triple Crown in 1940 when he hit a robust .437 with 12 homers and 79 runs batted in, while his career batting average in that league was a sparkling .367.
I won't get into all the hilarious anecdotes about his speed here, but they are all easily available on-line, from many of his Hall of Fame contemporaries.
For those of you not familiar with them, do yourself a favor and seek them out. Definitely worth the read.

2 comments:

  1. When Buck O'Neil was asked how fast Bell was, he would simply reply, "Faster than that."

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice card. I like the Hank Aaron Special border.

    ReplyDelete

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