Friday, January 27, 2012

1977 Topps Baseball #83 - Kevin Bell

  • Kevin Bell was the #1 draft pick (7th overall) of the Chicago White Sox in 1974. He played in the minors from 1974-1976 and put up solid numbers.
  • Bell came up to the White Sox in June 1976 at the age of 20. The White Sox had been trying to acquire Brooks Robinson to play third base but when the Orioles turned down the trade, the Sox called up Bell. Kevin had an inside-the-park grand slam on June 22. Kevin batted .248 in 68 games in 1976 and was considered to be a promising player for the White Sox.
  • Kevin was in the minors for the first 2 1/2 months of the 1977 season. He spent two weeks with the White Sox in June but was injured on June 20 and missed the rest of the season.
  • In 1978 Bell started the season in AAA Iowa. He batted .213 in 89 games in Iowa as he struggled to return from the knee injury he suffered in 1977. Kevin was brought up to Chicago in late July and batted .191 in 54 games. Bell was mostly used as a defensive replacement in '78.
  • Bell started the 1979 season in Iowa, where he batted .236 with 11 HR in 55 games. Kevin came up to Chicago in late June and ended up having his best year as a major leaguer. He batted .245 with 4 HR in 70 games.
  • The 1980 season was the only year that Bell didn't spend some time in the minors. Kevin batted .178 with 1 HR in 92 games for the White Sox. After the 1980 season Bell was released (at his request) by the White Sox.
  • Kevin was picked up by the San Diego Padres in February 1981. During spring training, Bell was traded (with Tony Phillips and a minor leaguer) to the Oakland A's for Bob Lacey and a minor leaguer.
  • Bell spent the 1981 season and most of the 1982 season in AAA Tacoma. He showed some power in 1981 (16 HR), but his minor league stats weren't very impressive. 
  • Kevin was called up to Oakland in September 1982 and batted .333 (3 for 9) in four games. Bell was released after the 1982 season and retired at the age of 27.
  • 1977 Stats:
    • Iowa (AAA): .306, 14 HR, 39 RBI in 49 games
    • White Sox: .179, 1 HR, 6 RBI in 9 games
  • 1977 Highlights:
    • April 4 - Sent to the White Sox minor league camp to become acquainted with the duties of a shortstop. This move was made in anticipation of the club trading starting shortstop Bucky Dent to the New York Yankees.
    • June 11 - Hit a home run in his first game back from the minors. It was the only run the White Sox scored in a 4-1 loss to the Baltimore Orioles.
    • June 16 - Hit a 2-run single to help the White Sox to a 7-3 win over the Minnesota Twins. The victory put the White Sox into first place in the AL West. It was the last base hit Bell would have in the majors in 1977.
    • June 20 - Collided with Oakland A's catcher Manny Sanguillen while trying to score on a fly ball by Alan Bannister. Kevin tore ligaments in his knee, underwent surgery, and missed the rest of the season.
  • Other card blogs: none

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