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Jay Bell looks back on career

The former Pirate, and current Diamondbacks minor-league hitting coach, looks back on a long big-league career.

Christian Petersen - Getty Images

Here's a long article by former Pirates infielder Jay Bell looking back on his career. If you're at all interested in the way baseball players think about their careers, I can't reommend it highly enough.

Bell started his career with the Indians, homering off Bert Blyleven in the first major-league pitch ever thrown to him. (That's a story that should sound familiar to Pirates fans -- Starling Marte homered in his first big-league pitch earlier this year.) The Pirates acquired Bell after the 1988 season, and he spent eight seasons with them, playing on all three of their playoff teams from 1990-1992. The Pirates then shipped him to Kansas City, and after a year there, he went on to the Diamondbacks, where he played five years and won a World Series.

Many of Bell's best memories, it seems, came from his time with the Royals and Diamondbacks, which makes sense -- as soon as he left Pittsburgh, he had three of his best seasons, including a 38-homer year in 1999. But he'll still be fondly remembered among Pirates fans for his above-average hitting from the shortstop position, as well as his role in the Pirates' last three winning teams.

Bell is now a hitting coach in the Diamondbacks' minor-league system. He says he'd like to eventually manage in the majors. Who knows whether he'll ever get his wish or how good at it he'd be, but it sounds like he certainly has the perspective necessary for the job.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.