Bell playing for the Blue Jays in 1985
|Born:October 21, 1959|
San Pedro de Macorís, Dominican Republic
|April 9, 1981, for the Toronto Blue Jays|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 2, 1993, for the Chicago White Sox|
|Runs batted in||1,002|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Member of the Canadian|
Jorge Antonio Bell Mathey (born October 21, 1959), better known as George Bell, is a Dominican former left fielder and American League MVP in Major League Baseball who played 12 seasons for the Toronto Blue Jays (1981, 1983–1990), Chicago Cubs (1991) and Chicago White Sox (1992–1993). Bell batted and threw right-handed.
Dominicans are people who are ethnically associated with the Dominican Republic. Dominican was historically the name for the inhabitants of the Captaincy General of Santo Domingo, the site of the first European settlement in the Western Hemisphere. The culture held in common by most Dominicans is referred to as mainstream Dominican culture, a mixture of different influences and customs having origins predominately in a European cultural basis, largely derived from the traditions of Spain, especially from Andalusia and the Canary Islands. The country has also been highly influenced by African culture, and Native Taino being a significant minority. The Dominican Republic has also received immigration from other parts of Spain such as Catalonia as well as from other European countries such as France and Portugal.
In baseball, a left fielder (LF) is an outfielder who plays defense in left field. Left field is the area of the outfield to the left of a person standing at home plate and facing towards the pitcher's mound. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the left fielder is assigned the number 7.
The American League of Professional Baseball Clubs, or simply the American League (AL), is one of two leagues that make up Major League Baseball (MLB) in the United States and Canada. It developed from the Western League, a minor league based in the Great Lakes states, which eventually aspired to major league status. It is sometimes called the Junior Circuit because it claimed Major League status for the 1901 season, 25 years after the formation of the National League.
Originally signed by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1978, Bell was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1980 Rule 5 draft.Bell was discovered in the Dominican Republic by Blue Jays scout Epy Guerrero. His first season as a regular was in 1984, when he teamed with Lloyd Moseby and Jesse Barfield to form a successful outfield for the Blue Jays. That outfield, along with solid starting pitching, led the Blue Jays to their first-ever American League East division title in 1985. Bell caught a fly ball, off the bat of Ron Hassey, for the final out in the 5–1 victory over the New York Yankees on October 5, clinching the division title for the Blue Jays. Despite Bell's .321 average in the ALCS, they lost the series to the Kansas City Royals.
The Philadelphia Phillies are a professional baseball team based in Philadelphia, USA. The Phillies compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member of the National League (NL) East division. Since 2004, the team's home has been Citizens Bank Park, located in South Philadelphia. The Phillies are the oldest, continuous, one-name, one-city franchise in American professional sports.
The Rule 5 draft is a Major League Baseball player draft that occurs each year in December, at the annual Winter Meeting of general managers. The Rule 5 draft aims to prevent teams from stockpiling too many young players on their minor league affiliate teams when other teams would be willing to have them play in the majors. The Rule 5 draft is named for its place in Major League Rules. The June Rule 4 draft, known as simply "the draft", "amateur draft", or "first year player draft", is a distinctly different process in which teams select high school and college players.
The Dominican Republic is a country located on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean region. It occupies the eastern five-eighths of the island, which it shares with the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of only two Caribbean islands, along with Saint Martin, that are shared by two sovereign states. The Dominican Republic is the second-largest Caribbean nation by area at 48,671 square kilometers (18,792 sq mi), and third by population with approximately 10,299,000 people, of whom approximately three million live in the metropolitan area of Santo Domingo, the capital city.
His best season came in 1987 when the Blue Jays ultimately fell two games short of the Detroit Tigers in the division race. Bell finished with a .308 BA, .352 OBP, .608 SLG, 111 R, 47 HR and a league-leading 134 RBI. He was awarded the American League MVP award that year.
The 1987 Major League Baseball season ended with the American League Champion Minnesota Twins winning the World Series over the National League Champion St. Louis Cardinals, four games to three, as all seven games were won by the home team.
The Detroit Tigers are an American professional baseball team based in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member of the American League (AL) Central division. One of the AL's eight charter franchises, the club was founded in Detroit as a member of the minor league Western League in 1894 and is the only Western League team still in its original city. They are also the oldest continuous one name, one city franchise in the AL. The Tigers have won four World Series championships, 11 AL pennants, and four AL Central division championships. The Tigers also won division titles in 1972, 1984, and 1987 as a member of the AL East. The team currently plays its home games at Comerica Park in Downtown Detroit.
In baseball, the batting average (BA) is the number of hits divided by at bats. It is usually reported to three decimal places and read without the decimal: A player with a batting average of .300 is "batting three-hundred." If necessary to break ties, batting averages could be taken beyond the .001 measurement. In this context, a .001 is considered a "point," such that a .235 batter is 5 points higher than a .230 batter.
On April 4, 1988, Bell became the first player in Major League history to hit three home runs on an opening day (all of them coming off of Bret Saberhagen),however, his play throughout the year declined as he conflicted with Blue Jays manager Jimy Williams, who wanted Bell to become the Jays' full-time designated hitter.
The 1988 Major League Baseball season ended with the underdog Los Angeles Dodgers shocking the Oakland Athletics, who had won 104 games during the regular season, in the World Series. The most memorable moment of the series came in Game 1, when injured Dodger Kirk Gibson hit a dramatic pinch-hit walk-off home run off Athletics closer Dennis Eckersley to win the game for Los Angeles. The Dodgers went on to win the Series in five games.
Bret William Saberhagen is an American former professional baseball right-handed starting pitcher. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Kansas City Royals, New York Mets, Colorado Rockies, and Boston Red Sox from 1984 through 1999, and a comeback in 2001.
James Francis "Jimy" Williams is an American former professional baseball infielder, coach and manager in Major League Baseball (MLB). He was born in Santa Maria, California, and briefly appeared in two MLB seasons as a second baseman and shortstop for the St. Louis Cardinals. After his playing career, he managed in the California Angels' minor league system before managing at the MLB level for the Toronto Blue Jays (1986–89), Boston Red Sox (1997–2001) and Houston Astros (2002–04), and was the American League Manager of the Year in 1999. He has also coached for Toronto, the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies.
Bell had a bounce-back year in 1989, posting a .297 average, 18 HR and 104 RBI, helping the Blue Jays win their second division title. However, in the ALCS, he only hit .200 with one home run, as they lost the series to the Oakland Athletics. Bell became a free agent after the 1990 season and signed with the Chicago Cubs. After one year with the Cubs, he was traded across town to the Chicago White Sox for Sammy Sosa and Ken Patterson.
The 1989 Major League Baseball season saw the Oakland Athletics win their first World Series title since 1974.
The 1989 American League Championship Series was played between the Oakland Athletics and the Toronto Blue Jays from October 3 to 8. A dominant Oakland team took the Series four games to one, en route to a sweep of their cross-bay rivals, the San Francisco Giants, in a World Series marred by the destructive Loma Prieta earthquake.
The Oakland Athletics, often referred to as the A's, are an American professional baseball team based in Oakland, California. They compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) West division. The team plays its home games at the RingCentral Coliseum. They have won nine World Series championships.
He played two years with the White Sox, recording 25 HR and 112 RBI in 1992. In 1993 his play declined, primarily due to a persistent knee injury. He was benched in the ALCS against his former team, the Blue Jays, and was released at the end of the season, after which he announced his retirement.
The 1992 Major League Baseball season saw the Toronto Blue Jays defeat the Atlanta Braves in the World Series, becoming the first team outside the United States to win the World Series.
The 1993 Major League Baseball season was the final season of two-division play in each league, before the Central Division was added the following season, giving both the NL and AL three divisions each.
The 1993 American League Championship Series was played between the East Division champion Toronto Blue Jays and the West Division champion Chicago White Sox from October 5 to 12. The defending champion Blue Jays defeated the White Sox, 4–2, to advance to the 1993 World Series which they would win 4–2 over the Philadelphia Phillies thanks to Joe Carter's dramatic three-run walk-off home run in Game 6. The 1993 ALCS was the last played under the AL's two-division format, as the league realigned into three divisions the following year.
Bell was a powerful free-swinger, usually posting a good slugging percentage and relatively low strikeout rate, but a poor on-base percentage. He was known as a mediocre defensive player and played mainly as a designated hitter during the last two years of his career, despite his strong preference for playing in the field. Despite his success on the field, Bell had a love-hate relationship with the fans and media in Toronto, particularly in his later years as his declining defensive game came to overshadow his offensive talents. After the fans booed him for committing an error, he told the media that the fans could "kiss my purple butt." The next day a sign appeared in left field "George, we are behind you all the way." [ citation needed ] Bell's difficult relationship with the Toronto sports media was exacerbated by his reluctance to do interviews during his early years with the Blue Jays (which was due to his then-weak knowledge with the English language). Towards the end of his time in Toronto, however, Bell warmed to the media, who in turn began to soften their often harsh criticisms of his play and attitude.
On May 28, 1989, while with the Blue Jays, Bell hit a walk-off home run in a 7–5 victory over the Chicago White Sox in the final Major League game played at Exhibition Stadium. Bell also homered in the first game at the Blue Jays' new park, SkyDome (now the Rogers Centre), on June 5, eight days later.
George Bell is currently enshrined in the upper deck of the Rogers Centre's Level of Excellence, devoted to players and personnel who have made a significant impact as members of the Toronto Blue Jays. He shares the honor with Tony Fernández, Joe Carter, Cito Gaston, Pat Gillick, Dave Stieb, Tom Cheek, Roberto Alomar, Carlos Delgado, Paul Beeston, and Roy Halladay.
In 2004, he was inducted into the Caribbean Baseball Hall of Fame. In 2013, he was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Ontario Sports Hall of Fame.
In 1587 games over 12 seasons, Bell posted a .278 batting average (1702-for-6123) with 814 runs, 308 doubles, 34 triples, 265 home runs, 1002 RBI, 331 base on balls, .316 on-base percentage and .469 slugging percentage. He recorded a .964 fielding percentage. In the 1985 and '89 ALCS, he hit .271 (13-for-48) with 6 runs, 1 home run and 3 RBI.
He was the older brother of late major leaguer Juan Bell.
Leo Ernest Whitt is an American manager for the Canadian national baseball team and a former catcher in Major League Baseball (MLB). He played 15 seasons in MLB, including twelve for the Toronto Blue Jays, and was the last player from the franchise's inaugural season of 1977 to remain through 1989. He has managed the Canadian national team since 2004. Whitt was inducted into the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame in 1997 and the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2009.
Douglas Reagan Ault was an American professional baseball first baseman and designated hitter who played for the Texas Rangers (1976) and Toronto Blue Jays. He is best known for playing in the Blue Jays first Major League Baseball (MLB) game on April 7, 1977, against the Chicago White Sox. Ault hit the first two home runs in franchise history, helping Toronto win 9–5.
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