Monday, March 7, 2011

Cool Papa Bell helped lead Cienfuegos to 1929-30 pennant

March 7: On this day in 1991, Negro leagues star James "Cool Papa" Bell died in St. Louis, Mo.
Enshrined into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., in 1974, Bell was elected into the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Between 1928-30, he played four seasons with Cienfuegos (including one independent season) and played for Almendares in 1940-41.

In this photo from, Bell is in the bottom row, far right with other members of the 1929-30 Cuban League champion Cienfuegos club.

According to Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, 1878-1961, Bell was named the season's MVP. That same season, Bell became the first player in Cuban League history to hit three home runs -- each of which was inside the park.

Aside from Bell, the team included Harry Salmon (top row, far left), Willie Wells (top row, fourth from left) and Frank Duncan (top row, far right).

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