1935 JAMES "COOL PAPA" BELL AUTHENTIC REPLICA 100% COTTON JERSEY
Bell, James Thomas (Cool Papa) Career: 1922-50Positions: cf, If, Ib, p Teams: St. Louis Stars ('22-'31), Detroit Wolves ('32) Kansas City Monarchs ('32,'34), Homestead Grays ('32, '43-'46), Pittsburgh Crawfords ('33-'38), Memphis Red Sox ('42), Santo Domingo ('37), Mexican League ('38-'41), Chicago American Giants ('42), Detroit Senators ('47), Kansas City Stars ('48-'50)
Bats: BothThrows: Left Height: 5'11"Weight: 150
Born: May 17, 1903, Starkville, Miss. Died: March 7, 1991, St. Louis, Mo.
The fastest man ever to play baseball, Cool Papa Bell rode the crest of the publicity from his incredible speed and colorful nickname into the Hall of Fame. The lean racehorse once was clocked circling the bases in an amazing 12 seconds. Cool Papa used his speed and daring to become the foremost base stealer in baseball and to "leg out" extra-base hits, thus offsetting his lack of real power at the plate.
Numerous stories are told of his feats on the basepaths. Many no doubt are true, such as consistently hitting two-hoppers to the infield and beating the throw to first for a hit, going from first to third on a bunt, scoring from secand on a sacrifice fly, stealing two bases on one pitch, and once scoring from first base on a bunt against Bob Lemon and a team of major-league all-stars. Other stories are simply colorfulexaggerations.Suchaccountshave Cool Papa hitting a single up the middle and being declared out when hit by his own batted ball as he slid into second base; and, of course, the most repeated story of how he could switch off the light and get into bed before the room
While some stories may be exaggerated, his speed was real. He once stole 175 bases in just under 200 games. He also utilized his speed in the field, with his great range allowing him to play a shallow center field and still run down pitchers' mistakes.
His speed going from home to first is described by former teammates, "If he bunts and it bounces twice, put it in your pocket," says "Double Duty" Radcliffe. "If he hits one back to the pitcher, everyone yelled, 'Hurry!' " claims Jimmie Crutchfield. When Jackie Robinson was a shortstop with Kansas City, Bell proved that Robinson didn't have the arm to play the position in the major leagues, by hittingtwo-hoppers to Robinson's right and beating them out. In an exhibition game against major leaguers on the West Coast, Bell scored From first on a bunt by Satchel Paige.