The expected names inhabit the Cincinnati Reds hall of fame: Bench, Larkin, Anderson, and on, but one can’t forget a legend in the history of the ball club from the queen city, Louisville native Gus Bell, who was inducted in 1964, the reasons why are the same reasons that Gus Bell is a sports legend of the Ville.
An outfielder, Bell began his baseball career at Flaget High School, but it wasn’t until May of 1950 that he reached the majors when he suited up for the Pittsburg Pirates.
Bell didn’t really get his footing until 1953 though when he first joined the Cincinnati Reds, with a .300 batting average and 30 home runs, Bell was an offensive powerhouse.
It was during his time with the Reds that Bell became a four time all-star, with his offensive powerhouse perhaps Louisville’s own Gus Bell could be called the original big red machine.
And, while his most successful years were with the Reds he was an asset to several ball clubs after Cincinnati including being the first batter to get a hit for the New York Mets in their first game in 1962, and providing a couple homers for the Milwaukee Braves who he played with until his retirement in 1964.
Today Bell’s legacy is looked on fondly in the Ohio River Valley, with events like the annual celebrity golf tournament for the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati which is named in Bell’s honor, and the legacy created with the name Bell continues on to this day.
With his son “Buddy Bell,” a third baseman and manager for the most part with the Cleveland Indians, retiring as a manger with the Kansas City Royals in 2007, then Gus’ grandsons David Bell, who has played for the Philadelphia Phillies and Milwaukee Brewers and today works as a manager for the 2A Carolina Mudcats.
As well as Michael Bell who’s suited up for the Reds, but currently works as a minor league manager with the Visalia Rawhide.
Image courtesy of the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame