Wilbur Gary Bell (born
November 17 1936 in
Texas) is a former Major
League Baseball relief and
starting pitcher with four teams in
his career, but most notably, the Cleveland Indians from 1958-1967.
Bell also played for the Boston Red
(1967-1968), the expansion Seattle Pilots
(later the Brewers) (1969),
and the Chicago White Sox
He threw and batted right-handed.
In his early years, Bell was a starter, going 49-47 in his first
four years in the Majors. Soon, he was made into a reliever helping
the Indians by picking up over 10 saves
in and . Bell picked up a 2.95 ERA
in the season in 58 appearances (51
out of the bullpen). He went 8-5 that year, a solid year with an
Indians team that finished under .500 (79-83). Bell was a fastball
pitcher early in his career and then
developed a good slider
Bell always claimed to hate relieving, calling it a thankless job,
mainly because it took in less money and less notable reward.
However, he was a good reliever. He led the American League
with nine relief wins in
After being a lifetime Indian for so many years, he was traded to
the Red Sox on June 4, 1967 for Tony Horton
and Don Demeter
. In his final year with the Indians,
he had gone back to being a starter and went 14-15 with a 3.22 ERA
in 37 starts. He became a part of the Red Sox 1967 World Series
hopes, but they lost to
the St. Louis Cardinals
pitched in three games, starting one. After two fairly solid
seasons with Boston, he became a draftee of the expansion Pilots in
. After going 2-6 with them, he went to the White Sox, and was
released at the end of the season.
In his career, he went 121-117 with a 3.68 ERA in 519 games (233
starts). He struck out
1378 in 2015
As author Jim Bouton
's roommate, he was
prominently mentioned in Ball Four
told of a now-famous pitchers' meeting in which Bell suggested that
for every batter in the opposing team's lineup that the pitcher
"smoke 'em inside" i.e. throw them inside fastballs. Bouton also
mentioned that Bell's nickname was "Ding Dong."
Bell is a
current resident of San Antonio, Texas.
- " Seattle Pilots ... Where are they now?", Bill
Reader, The Seattle Times, published July 9, 2006,
accessed January 28, 2007.