Friday, July 21, 2000

Bell completes third generation

The Associated Press

        HOUSTON — Mike Bell struck out in his major league debut Thursday night, making history.

        With Bell's pinch-hit appearance in the seventh inning for the Reds, he became part of the first three-generation family to play for the same major league team.

        Grandfather Gus Bell played for the Reds from 1953-61 and his father Buddy Bell played for the Reds from 1985-88.

        “I'm proud to be a part of it,” Mike Bell said. “Even though I struck out, looking back on the at-bat, too much adrenaline was going. Now, I realize this is the same game I've been playing all these years.

        “I can't wait to get out there again and do something to help. I've been playing in the minors for seven years and I wanted to do well. I got it out of the way.

        The Bells are one of only three three-generation major league families. The others were the Boones (Ray, Bob, Bret and Aaron) and the Hairstons (Sam, Jerry Sr. and Jerry Jr.)

        “It's something I'm extremely proud of,” Mike Bell said. “I'm proud of what my grandfather accomplished and I'm proud of what my dad accomplished. I'm proud of what I've done, too.”

        Bell, whose brother David plays for the Seattle Mariners, said he had not discussed the generational feat with his family.

        “My grand dad passed away and I never talked about it, and I've never talked to my dad about it,” Bell said. “Maybe 20 years from now we'll sit down and talk about it being neat.”

        Reds manager Jack McKeon thought it was about time.

        “He's been with us for about a week now and I've been dying to get him in the game,” McKeon said. “You can be up here, but you've got to get your name in the box score.”

        Bell was hitting .279 with 16 homers and 55 RBIs in 88 games with Triple-A Louisville this season.


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