James Russell Bethea
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 5' 9", Weight 170 lb.
- School University of Houston
- High School Reagan High School
- Born August 15, 1936 in Houston, TX USA
- Died July 7, 2014 in Houston, TX USA
Outfielder Jim Bethea played in the Detroit Tigers minor league system from 1959 to 1961.
With the Montgomery Rebels in 1959, he hit .320/.483/.549 with 21 home runs, 99 RBI, 97 runs and 123 walks (to only 51 strikeouts) in 114 games. He led the Alabama-Florida League in RBI, walks, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and OPS (1.032) and tied Peter Walski for the lead in home runs. With the Durham Bulls in 1960, he hit .280/.398/.486 with 18 home runs and 58 RBI in 117 games. He struggled as he moved up the minor league ladder, and in 1961, he hit .233/.333/.326 with two home runs and 29 RBI in 88 games for the Class-A Knoxville Smokies.
Overall, Bethea hit .285/.419/.474 with 31 home runs and 186 RBI in 319 games.