Monday, January 12, 2015

#354 Jay Bell

About the Front: Here I'd thought that players wearing a single long sleeve was a more recent development, but Jay Bell took the field in just such a manner back in 1992. Maybe he was a trendsetter.

About the Back: Yes, Jay was an Air Force kid. He mentions it in this excellent interview/article.

Triple Play:

1. The Twins traded Bell to Cleveland as part of a four-player package that netted future Hall of Fame pitcher Bert Blyleven. The infielder made his big league debut with the Indians on September 29, 1986, facing Blyleven and Minnesota, and took Bert deep in his first at-bat.

2. He was a two-time All-Star, earning honors in 1993 (.310/.392/.437 in 154 games, with a Gold Glove to boot), and then again in 1999 as part of an anomalous year of power production with the Diamondbacks (.289/.374/.557, 38 HR, 112 RBI).

3. Jay retired after the 2003 season, and served as Arizona's bench coach in 2005-2006. He's also been hitting coach for the Pirates (2013) and bench coach for the Reds (2014-present), and in between did some coaching for Team USA in amateur competitions.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: My best friend Joe wasn't a huge baseball fan, but he dabbled in card collecting in the early 1990s. He used to complain about how often he pulled Jay Bell from packs.

Bill James Said: "I had him rated as the third-best shortstop in baseball last year, but since Larkin gets hurt all the time, Ozzie's pushing 40, Fryman's defense didn't come around, Blauser's only done it once, and Ripken goes through long slumps without coming out of the lineup, I guess he's got to be the man."

On This Date in 1993: January 12. 1960s British rock group Cream, fronted by Eric Clapton reunites to perform at their induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Ceremonies take place in Los Angeles; other artists enshrined include Creedence Clearwater Revival, Ruth Brown, The Doors, Van Morrison, and Sly and the Family Stone.

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