Early Play

James "Cool Papa" Bell
The Color Barrier

Early Play

Cool Papa Bell debuted in the Negro leagues as just a young boy at age 19. The first team that was willing to take him was Crompton Hill Cubs. He was, at first, a knuckle ball pitcher. He was getting paid only $20 per week but back then $20 was really like $291.81 today. He would only play for Crompton Hill on the weekends or holidays and so he kept a job at the packing company. After a short amount of time, the Cromton Hill Cubs was shut down so Bell had to move teams to the St. Louis Stars.

Cool Papa Bell is with his team, the St. Louis Stars, after they one the National Negro World Series.

St.Louis Stars

Cool Papa Bell was quickly given his new name "Cool" after he struck out a standout player, Oscar Charleston. The team had then added "Papa" to his name simply because it sounded better. Bell was brought up as a knuckle ball pitcher but he would make a few appereances in the out field. With his urging manager, Bill Gatewood, he worked on his defesive play. Gatewood must have seen something in Bell because this move would take Bell all the way to the Hall of Fame.