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A photo of Gary Bell.

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 1962 and 1966. Bell picked up a 2.95 ERA in the 1963 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 1969. After going 2-6 with them, he went to the White Sox, and was released on October 6 of '69.

In his career, he went 121-117 with a 3.68 ERA in 519 games (233 starts). He struck out 1378 in 2015 innings pitched.

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.[1]


  • "Gary (Bell) has come up with a good nickname for Freddie Velázquez. Freddie just sits there in the bullpen, warming up pitchers, and he never gets into a game and just looks sad. So Gary calls him Poor Devil." -- Jim Bouton in Ball Four (May 1, 1969)


  • led the Eastern League with 192 strikeouts while playing for the Reading Indians in 1956
  • was the first strikeout victim of Seattle Pilots left-hander Gary Timberlake {Comiskey Park -- June 18, 1969}

Other People With Same Name

  • Gary Bell is also a broadcaster working for AM640 Radio[1] Station in Toronto


  1. "Seattle Pilots ... Where are they now?", Bill Reader, The Seattle Times, published July 9, 2006, accessed January 28, 2007.

See also