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Bill Bell

From BR Bullpen

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William Samuel Bell
(Ding Dong)

BR page

Biographical Information[edit]

Before the 1951 season Bill Bell was signed as an amateur free agent by the Pittsburgh Pirates. They shipped the 17-year-old off to the Mayfield Clothiers of the Kitty League and the young man came up with a 6-8 won-loss record and a 3.46 ERA. 1952, a magical year as far as Bill was concerned, saw him throw the first back-to-back no-hitters in organized baseball since the Cincinnati Reds's Johnny Vander Meer did it in 1938. His teammate, Ron Necciai pitched a no-hitter in the same season during which he struck out 27 batters. Pitching in the Appalachian League with the Bristol Twins, Bell beat the Kingsport Cherokees, 1-0, with 17 strikeouts on May 22nd, and four days later followed up with a second no-hitter, 4-0, over the Bluefield Blue-Grays, a game in which he struck out 20 batters. Necciai's 27 strikeout gem came on May 13th. Bell then tossed an unbelievable third no-hitter on August 25th, also over Bluefield, 4-0, which again put him in the record books. It should be mentioned here that Johnny Vander Meer, the man who had first turned the back-to-back trick, although in the majors, on July 15th of that same year, while pitching in the Texas League, threw a no-hitter for the Tulsa Oilers, beating the Shreveport Sports, 12-0.

The 6'3" right-hander was rewarded with a call-up to the Pirates, making the long jump from Class D to the major leagues in the same season. He lost his only decision in four appearances before returning to the minor leagues. He made it back to Pittsburgh for just one more game three years later in 1955, with no decision, before an ailing right arm ended his mound days. His major league career numbers showed that he appeared in 5 games, pitching 17 innings, going 0-1 and had a 4.32 ERA. Bell's minor league career showed an active seven years of playing time, 1951 through 1959. He served in the United States armed services for two seasons, in 1953 and 1954. While on the minor league mound, Bill built a 46-50 record, appearing in 161 games, pitching 823 innings, allowing 617 hits and 728 bases on balls for a 4.38 ERA.

Bill Bell died on October 11, 1962 at age 28 at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Durham, NC. His death came ten months after he was seriously injured in an auto accident in Fort Myers, FL. He never regained consciousness after the accident.


Baseball Players of the 1950s
SABR MILB Database:page
The Baseball Necrology

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