Les Bell

From BR Bullpen


Lester Rowland Bell

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 11", Weight 165 lb.

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Biographical Information[edit]

"I'll never forget my first big league game [in 1923]. The club wasn't going anywhere, so they loaded the lineup with kids, me at short, another fellow at first, and so on. The first ball that was hit down to me I picked up cleanly and threw with everything I had. Listen, I had a strong arm. I sure did. I think I must have broken a seat ten or fifteen rows behind first base with that throw. A couple of innings later I had my second chance. This time that ball really flew, and I must have broken a seat twenty rows behind first base. When I came into the dugout after that inning, I was feeling pretty blue. Who sits down next to me but the regular first baseman, Jim Bottomley. All he did that year was hit .371. Jim put his arm around me and said, 'Now kid, Old Jim will be out there tomorrow playing first base. So when you throw the ball, just throw it in the direction of the base, and Old Jim will get it.' That made me feel better, but I got to laugh now when I think about it." - Les Bell, from Peter Golenbock's The Spirit of St. Louis

On May 26, 1929, Les Bell of the Boston Braves hit a seventh-inning pinch hit grand slam off Carl Hubbell. In the previous inning, Pat Crawford had hit a pinch hit grand slam off Socks Seibold. This was the only time in history that two pinch hit grand slams were hit in the same game. Both were needed; the game was tied 2-2 before Crawford's blast and it ended 15-8.

Les saw trials in his first two big league seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals before wresting third base from Specs Toporcer in 1925. The 1926 Cards featured Hall of Famers Rogers Hornsby, Jim Bottomley, and Chick Hafey, but it was Les who had the highest slugging percentage on the team. His .518 mark was nearly 100 points higher than any other major league season and he finished sixth in the MVP vote. His production tailed off the next year and he finished his big league time with two seasons each with the Braves and as a Chicago Cubs bench player. He later managed in the minor leagues for a number of years.

Notable Achievements[edit]

Year-by-Year Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1940 Harrisburg Senators Interstate League 60-62 5th Pittsburgh Pirates
1941 Harrisburg Senators Interstate League 81-43 1st Pittsburgh Pirates League Champs
1942 Springfield Rifles Eastern League 33-107 8th none
1946 Harrisburg Senators Interstate League 76-64 2nd Cleveland Indians League Champs
1947 Harrisburg Senators Interstate League 71-69 4th Cleveland Indians Lost in 1st round
1948 Harrisburg Senators Interstate League 64-76 6th Cleveland Indians
1949 Harrisburg Senators Interstate League 74-64 3rd Cleveland Indians Lost League Finals
1950 Harrisburg Senators Interstate League 77-62 3rd Cleveland Indians Lost in 1st round
1951 Harrisburg Senators Interstate League 44-63 -- Cleveland Indians replaced by Harold Cox (11-21) August 8
1952 Lincoln A's Western League 67-87 6th (t) Philadelphia A's
1953 Savannah Indians South Atlantic League 68-73 4th Philadelphia A's Lost in 1st round
1954 Ottawa A's International League 26-45 -- Philadelphia A's -- replaced by Taft Wright (32-51) on June 29

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