Cool Papa played 29 summers and 21 winters of professional baseball, hitting over .300 nearly every season and topping the .400 mark as well.
Though skilled at the plate and in the field, it was his speed and daring on the base paths that set him apart. Legendary pitcher Satchel Paige once said, “One Time he hit a line drive right past my ear. I turned around and saw the ball hit him sliding into second.”
Hall of Fame voters recognized Cool Papa Bell as one of the greatest to play the game. The legendary Buck O’Neil also lists Bell as his left fielder on his All Time Negro League All Stars.
A quick glance down the list finds it peppered with other Hall of Fame players. Bell played on the 1935 Crawfords that featured five future Hall-of-Famers: Bell, Oscar Charleston, Josh Gibson, Judy Johnson and Satchel Paige.
Very cool! (Papa) I did a painting of him that is now in the permanent collection of Hall of Fame!