Bell, Cool Papa

James Thomas Bell
Born: May 17, 1903, Starkville, Mississippi
Died: March 7, 1991, St. Louis, Missouri
Elected to the Hall of Fame by Negro Leagues Committee: 1974

Among the most illustrious players in Negro league baseball history, James Cool Papa Bell was noted for his incredible speed on the basepaths, excellence as a leadoff hitter and his superb defensive play as a center fielder. He began his career as a pitcher, but his other talents ensured his future as an everyday player. Bell's career lasted 20 years with teams such as the St. Louis Stars, Pittsburgh Crawfords and the Homestead Grays.

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Induction Speech

Did You Know: 
that Cool Papa Bell was one of six future Hall of Famers who played with the 1936 Pittsburgh Crawfords of the Negro National League?
Let me tell you about Cool Papa Bell. One time, he hit a line drive right past my ear. I turned around and saw the ball hit his rear end as he slid into second.
Satchel Paige