Monday, May 10, 2010

T206 Brooklyn Dodgers: George Bell

George Bell, although his win-loss record doesn't suggest it, was one of Brooklyn's best starting pitchers. Unfortunately, Brooklyn couldn't hit a beachball if it was thrown underhanded from 10 feet away. In 5 Major League seasons, all with the Superbas, he recorded a 43-79 record while having an impressive 2.85 lifetime ERA. As you can surely guess, he just didn't receive the run support required to win games.

Bell, a 6 foot right-hander, was known to throw a good curve, sinker and an occasional spit ball (legal at the time). He was also a late bloomer. He played his first Major League game at the age of 32 and available records suggest he only started playing professionally at the age of 29. Likely, he played in amateur leagues until being discovered. In 1910, he led the Majors in losses with 27, but baffled hitters with a 2.64 ERA, 25 complete games and a WHIP average of 1.126 in 310 innings pitched. He was the ultimate tough-luck pitcher.

In 1911, George Bell split time between Brooklyn and the Newark Indians of the AA International League. He played only a few more years in the minors after that before officially retiring from Baseball in 1915 at the ripe age of 40.

Bell has the special distinction of having two T206 Baseball cards. One with his hands above his head and the other showing his follow-through. See them above and below.

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