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3 Generation Baseball Families - Bell


In the history of MLB there has only been (so far) four Grandfather-Father-Son combinations: the Boone's, Bell's, Hairston's, and the Coleman's. These posts depict my collection of baseball cards that represent these baseball royalty families.

The Bell's.
Gus Bell was the patriarch of a rare three-generation major league family. His son, Buddy, was a third baseman and manager in the majors, and his grandsons, David and Mike, are both former infielders. David is the current manager of the Cincinnati Reds. Gus Bell wore uniform #25 during his nine years with the Cincinnati Reds (the Reds were known as the "Redlegs" during the Cold War years from 1953–58); Buddy Bell wore #25 in tribute to his father during much of his playing and managing career, including his tenure with the Reds. David, named manager of the Reds in 2019, carried on the tradition when he took Cincinnati uniform #25 as well.

When David was named Reds manager, he and Buddy became the fifth father-son pair to serve as major league managers, joining Connie and Earle Mack, George and Dick Sisler (Reds), Bob and Joel Skinner, and Bob (Reds) and Aaron Boone (posted about here).

Gus Bell was a four time All-Star, all during his time with the Reds (1953 - 1961). A middle of the lineup hitter, Bell had over 100 RBIs four times during those years. In Bell's 15-year MLB career, he was a .281 hitter with 1,823 hits, 206 home runs and 942 RBIs in 1,741 games played. Defensively, he recorded a career .985 fielding percentage at all three outfield positions. Gus is a member of the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame.

1961 Topps, card #215.

1976 Topps, card #66.

1985 Topps, card #131.

Buddy Bell was a five time All-Star and six time Gold Glove winner. In his 18-year MLB career, Buddy averaged .279, and totaled 1151 runs, 2514 hits, 201 HRs, and 1106 RBIs. He walked 836 times with only 776 strikeouts, for a lifetime OBP of .341. Buddy was with the Reds toward the end of his career. In those two full seasons with the Reds, Buddy averaged 19 HRs and 73 RBIs with a .281 BA and .365 OBP.

According to Wikipedia, in fielding, "Bell was spectacular and often played far off the third base line, taking many base hits from opposing batters. In Total zone runs (a defensive statistic) he is 9th all time (ahead of Willie Mays) and 2nd among all third baseman (behind Brooks Robinson). His Range factor (another defensive stat) is 5th all-time among 3rd baseman. He was in the top 10 in fielding pct. 10 times and finished first 3 times."
1986 Donruss, card #447.

For his MLB career, Mike Bell played in 19 games at third base with the 2000 Cincinnati Reds. In 27 ABs, Mike had 6 hits, including 2 HRs. The Bell's are competing with the Boone's to become the first fourth-generation family. Mike's son, Luke, was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 34th round of the 2019 MLB Draft. Whereas, Ray Boone's great-grandson, Jake (Bret's son, Bob's grandson) was selected in the 2017 draft by the Nationals.

2001 Pacific, card #466.

David Bell had a 12-year MLB playing career, and appeared at all four infield positions while playing for the Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Cardinals, Seattle Mariners, San Francisco Giants, Philadelphia Phillies, and Milwaukee Brewers. in 1403 games, David had 1239 hits, 123 HRs, 589 RBIs, and a .257 BA.
2009 Minor League Baseball, NNO

Ricky Bell was also Buddy's son, and brother of Mike and David. Ricky played 10-years in the minor leagues, advancing to the AAA level with four teams (Dodgers, Reds, Cubs, and Royals).

1998 Grandstand, NNO. Ricky also wore #25 while with the Stampede.

Like the Boone's, the Bells are another baseball royalty family. And like the Boone's, the Bells have an incredibly strong Cincinnati Reds connection.

Next up: The Hairston's.

Stay well,
CinciCuse Bill

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