Bell used a blazing fastball to win 28 games in his first two ML seasons. He later learned to control his curve and developed a slider. In nine years at Cleveland he went through seven managers, who shifted him back and forth between starting and relieving. In 1962 he led the AL with nine relief victories, but he hated relieving, calling it a “rotten, thankless job.” Starters received more money and prestige, and the wisecracking Bell preferred four days off to joke around on the bench. After saving 17 in 1965, he returned to starting and won 14 in 1966. Traded to the Red Sox early in 1967, he won 12 during their pennant drive. He had a loss and a save in the WS.
“Ding Dong” was drafted by the expansion Pilots in 1969 and won Seattle’s home opener. As author Jim Bouton‘s roommate, he was prominently mentioned in Ball Four.