Wilbur Gary Bell (born November 17 1936 in San Antonio, Texas) is a former Major League Baseball relief and starting pitcher with four teams in his career, but most notably, the Cleveland Indians from 1958-1967. Bell also played for the Boston Red Sox (1967-1968), the expansion Seattle Pilots (later the Brewers) (1969), and the Chicago White Sox (1969). He threw and batted right-handed.
In his early years, Bell was a starter, going 49-47 in his first four years in the Majors. Soon, he was made into a reliever helping the Indians by picking up over 10 saves in and . Bell picked up a 2.95 ERA in the season in 58 appearances (51 out of the bullpen). He went 8-5 that year, a solid year with an Indians team that finished under .500 (79-83). Bell was a fastball pitcher early in his career and then developed a good slider and curveball.
Bell always claimed to hate relieving, calling it a thankless job, mainly because it took in less money and less notable reward. However, he was a good reliever. He led the American League with nine relief wins in '62.
After being a lifetime Indian for so many years, he was traded to the Red Sox on June 4, 1967 for Tony Horton and Don Demeter. In his final year with the Indians, he had gone back to being a starter and went 14-15 with a 3.22 ERA in 37 starts. He became a part of the Red Sox 1967 World Series hopes, but they lost to the St. Louis Cardinals. Bell pitched in three games, starting one. After two fairly solid seasons with Boston, he became a draftee of the expansion Pilots in . After going 2-6 with them, he went to the White Sox, and was released at the end of the season.
As author Jim Bouton's roommate, he was prominently mentioned in Ball Four. Bouton told of a now-famous pitchers' meeting in which Bell suggested that for every batter in the opposing team's lineup that the pitcher "smoke 'em inside" i.e. throw them inside fastballs. Bouton also mentioned that Bell's nickname was "Ding Dong."
As of 2006, Bell was a resident of San Antonio, Texas.
The big Issue ex-comrade McClean enjoying life back at nortelStuart happy to have made it back home Gary Bell (right) has joined McClean in making the switch from Ballyclare to Nortel this season
Jan 10, 2011; The big Issue ex-comrade McClean enjoying life back at nortelStuart happy to have made it back home Gary Bell (right) has joined...