by Larry Lester, Sammy J. Miller and Dick Clark
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COOL PAPA BELL
Hall of Fame member James Thomas "Cool Papa" Bell became part of Detroit baseball history when he joined the Wolves. The fastest man to ever play the game of baseball, Bell was once clocked running the bases, from home to home, a distance of 120 yards, in 12 seconds flat. Bell's other fleet-footed feats included regularly stealing two bases on one pitch, scoring from second on a sacrifice fly, and even, on one occasion, scoring from first on a bunt. When it came to playing the field against Bell, his former teammate Ted Radcliffe expressed it best by saying, "If he bunts and the ball bounces twice, put it in your pocket." In addition to his speed, Bell was a talented outfielder and threat at the plate, sporting about a .340 lifetime average.
From Black Baseball in Detroit by Larry Lester, Sammy J. Miller, and Dick Clark.
Copyright © 2000 by Larry Lester, Sammy J. Miller, and Dick Clark. Excerpted with permission.