David Gus "Buddy" Bell (born August 27, 1951 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is a former third baseman and manager in Major League Baseball. After an 18-year career with four teams, most notably the Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers, he managed the Detroit Tigers, Colorado Rockies and Kansas City Royals for three seasons each. The son of outfielder Gus Bell and the father of third basemen David and Mike, he is well-liked by former teammates and fans and continues to be remembered by the organizations for which he played.
Bell was born while his father was playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was drafted in 1969 by the Indians and was regarded as a promising prospect from the beginning. He first appeared in the Major Leagues with the Indians in 1972, appearing mostly in the outfield as a rookie, but afterwards becoming a fixture at third base. Bell was a solid, but not overpowering, right-handed hitter on a mostly lackluster Indians team. He was named to the All-Star team in 1973.
After the 1978 season Bell was traded to the Texas Rangers in exchange for Toby Harrah – a player who seemed similar in many ways, a good-hitting infielder in the middle of his career.
Bell enjoyed his best season with the Rangers in 1979, collecting 200 hits, 101 RBI, and his first Gold Glove Award. He followed with solid seasons through 1984, including several All-Star selections.
In the middle of the 1985 season, Bell was sent to the Cincinnati Reds, where his father also had been a popular player in the late 1950s. This was a very popular addition with Reds fans, and Buddy responded with two more solid years. In the 1988 season he began to fade, and was traded to the Houston Astros. Bell was released in December and returned with the Rangers before the 1989 season, in which he appeared sparingly.
Following retirement, Bell worked for several years as a coach in the Reds and from 94-95 for the Indians, and managed the Detroit Tigers from 1996-98, when he resigned after 135 games because he "couldn't stand the losing" (and the Tigers were a terrible team at the time). He then managed the Colorado Rockies from 2000 through part of 2002 when he was fired in April after a 6-16 start. As a manager both for Detroit and Colorado, Bell compiled a 184-277 record.
In November 2002, Bell returned to coaching for the Cleveland Indians.
On May 31, 2005, the Kansas City Royals hired Bell as their manager, three weeks after Tony Peña resigned. Bell won his first four games as a manager, becoming only the second Royals manager (after Whitey Herzog) to do so and guiding the Royals to their first four-game winning streak since 2003.
Bell took a medical leave of absence from the team on September 20, 2006 after a lump was discovered on his tonsils. Bell had experienced difficulty swallowing in the previous weeks, but he only agreed to go to the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona following the advice of Royals medical staff. Bell's wife has battled tonsil cancer as well.
On August 1, 2007, Bell announced that he would not be returning to the Royals bench at the conclusion of the 2007 season. Bell has stated that his decision was his own, and was not based on performance or pressure from the Royals front office. Bell stated that he wishes to spend more time with his family - a sentiment solidified in 2006 with his cancer diagnosis.
(updated thru Oct. 8, 2007)
|Won||Lost||Win %||Finish||Won||Lost||Win %||Result|
|DET||1996||53||109||.327||5th in AL Central||-||-||-|
|DET||1997||79||83||.488||3rd in AL Central||-||-||-|
|DET||1998||52||85||.380||5th in AL Central (fired)||-||-||-|
|COL||2000||82||80||.506||4th in NL West||-||-||-|
|COL||2001||73||89||.451||5th in NL West||-||-||-|
|COL||2002||6||16||.273||4th in NL West (fired)||-||-||-|
|KC||2005||43||69||.384||5th in AL Central||-||-||-|
|KC||2006||62||100||.383||5th in AL Central||-||-||-|
|KC||2007||69||93||.426||5th in AL Central||-||-||-|
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