New Reds manager David Bell is connected to a ton of baseball history
The Reds made their first move of the offseason on Sunday when they named former third baseman David Bell as the team's new manager. But this isn't just a homecoming for Bell, who went to high school in Cincinnati and managed in the Reds Minor League system. It's a continuation of his role as a constant presence in baseball history. That's because, like the Watcher in Marvel Comics, Bell is like a cosmic being that is connected to tons of history. Let's look at some of it.
He's a third-generation Major Leaguer
Familial ties are always important. Just look at every amateur Draft and notice how many brothers, nephews and sons are drafted every year. Despite all that, there are only five families with three generations in the big leagues. There are the Boones (Ray, Bob, Bret and Aaron), the Hairstons (Sammy, Jerry, Johnny, Jerry Jr. and Scott), the Colemans (Joe, Joe Jr. and Casey), the Schofields (Ducky, Dick and Jayson Werth, who is the grandson of Ducky) and the Bells.
In addition to David, there's his grandfather Gus, his father Buddy and his brother Mike. All told, they combined for 46 years in the big leagues -- or roughly 40 percent of big league history since the modern era began in 1900. When David hit for the cycle in 2004, he also became just the first grandfather-grandson duo to hit for the cycle in Major League history.
He was present for JT Snow's great grab
It's one of the most famous runs in postseason history. During the 2002 World Series, Giants first baseman JT Snow made a dramatic snag of Dusty Baker's son, Darren, to prevent him from getting steamrolled by a baserunner in a stressful ballgame. While you likely remember the names of Snow and the Bakers, what you probably don't remember is who the next runner was: Enter Bell.
He helped set the record for wins in a season
The Mariners set the Major League record for wins in a season with 116 in 2001. A big part of that was their tremendously defensively astute infield which, naturally, featured Bell as the starting third baseman. While Bell wasn't the star of the team, he did hit 15 home runs that year and Seattle Times writer Larry Stone has posited that the Mariners now-17-year postseason drought is because they traded Bell to the Giants the next year. Hey, that bodes well for the Reds.
He hit the first inside-the-park home run in Jacobs Field history
Like most third basemen, Bell wasn't known for his footspeed. For his career, he stole 19 bases ... and was caught 20 times. But as a member of the Indians on April 15, 1998, Bell hit a first-inning inside-the-park homer against his future team, the Mariners.
Not only was it the first inside-the-park homer in the stadium's history, but it was the first one hit by an Indians player since Joe Carter did it in 1989.