Mike Bell, a name synonymous with baseball, was a versatile and dedicated third baseman whose legacy in the world of Major League Baseball (MLB) remains cherished and celebrated. Known for his defensive prowess, clutch hitting, and unwavering commitment to the game, Mike Bell's career in professional baseball is an inspiring story of talent and dedication.
Unfortunately, Twins bench coach and the younger brother of Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell died at 46 on March 26, 2021. In this article, we'll delve into the life journey, death, and contributions of Mike Bell, a player whose impact on the position of third baseman continues to be felt today.
Who Was Mike Bell?
Mike Bell born Michael John Bell, was a professional baseball third baseman and coach from the United States. Born on December 7, 1974, Mike played Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Cincinnati Reds and was the Minnesota Twins' bench coach during the 2020 season. He was David Bell's brother, Buddy Bell's son, and Gus Bell's grandson.
Bell went to Cincinnati's Moeller High School. Bell was drafted in the first round of the 1993 Major League Baseball draft by the Texas Rangers.
From 1993 to 2005, he was a Minor League Baseball player. He played with the Cincinnati Reds in Major League Baseball in 2000. In 19 games with the Reds, Bell batted.222 with two home runs and four RBI.
Bell was hired as manager of the Yakima Bears, an Arizona Diamondbacks minor league club, in 2007. In 2008 and 2009, he was the manager of the Visalia Rawhide. From 2011 to 2016, Bell was the Diamondbacks' director of player development, and from 2017 to 2019, he was the vice president of player development.
The Minnesota Twins hired Bell to their coaching staff for the 2020 season on December 17, 2019, replacing Derek Shelton, who left to manage the Pittsburgh Pirates.
How Did Mike Bell Die?
Mike Bell, the younger brother of Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell, died of Kidney cancer. He was 46. The Twins said that their exhibition game versus Atlanta would be played as scheduled, at the request of Bell's family.
Mike Bell underwent surgery on January 28 to remove a tumor detected earlier that month. He'd taken time away from the squad to care for his health. At the start of spring training, Twins manager Rocco Baldelli stated that his top dugout assistant was “very, very optimistic” about his rehabilitation.
“We know Mike as a baseball man, but I can tell you that with the love he has for the game and the love he had for all the people in the game, he was a family man first,” he said on Friday.
“As our bench coach, he brought that passion to the field.” He was an excellent bench coach because he was great with people.”
The Twins said in a statement that Bell had “an indelibly positive impact” on the squad and everyone he encountered during his lone season on the job.
“Everyone who knew Mike, on and off the field, is better for it.” The Twins join the rest of baseball in mourning Mike's unexpected death; our hearts go out to his wife, Kelly, his three children, Luke, Mikayla, and Madeline, and the whole Bell family during this difficult time.”
Mike Bell was selected in the 1997 expansion draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks. His only major league season came with Cincinnati in 2000, when he appeared in 19 games and went 6-for-27 with two home runs.
Bell worked for the Arizona Diamondbacks for 13 years in player development and minor league management.
“Mike was truly beloved by everyone who knew him — from coaches and players to colleagues and staff in Arizona and throughout our minor league system,” the Arizona Diamondbacks stated in a statement. “His loss leaves a huge hole in our hearts but his impact cannot be overstated and his legacy will not be forgotten.”
David Bell spent 12 seasons in the major leagues, mostly with Philadelphia and Seattle, before being hired as the Reds' manager in 2019.
“Our Reds family is overwhelmed with sadness for the Bells as they mourn the loss of Mike,” said Cincinnati CEO Bob Castellini in a statement.
“Over the past 70 years, this great baseball family has blessed thousands of people.” Mike, like his grandfather Gus, father Buddy, and brother David, wore a Reds outfit. “Our hearts and prayers are with Buddy, David, and their families,” he stated.
Buddy Bell managed for nine years and played in the major leagues for 18 years. Gus Bell, the brothers' grandfather, spent 15 years in the major leagues. Ricky Bell, another brother, played in the lower leagues for ten years.