David Bell’s parents so admired catcher Gus Mancuso they nicknamed their son Gus, but instead of a catcher, he became a power-hitting outfielder. Bell was hitting .400 at Indianapolis when he was called up to the Pirates in 1950, joining Ralph Kiner in the Bucs’ outfield. After two strong seasons, he spent part of 1952 back in the minors because of a dispute with the Pirate front office; he had wanted his family to travel with him, including his son Buddy, later an outstanding ML third baseman.
Traded to Cincinnati, Bell hit a career-high 30 homers in 1953. He had his best years with the Reds (1953-61), four times topping 100 RBI.
In the 1957 All-Star voting, Cincinnati fans sent in so many ballots they succeeded in having seven Reds named to the starting lineup. Commissioner Ford Frick removed Bell and Wally Post as starters, but Manager Walter Alston named Bell to the squad and he doubled in two runs in the seventh.
Selected by the Mets in the expansion draft, he collected the first Met hit, a single on April 11, 1962.