League Play

James "Cool Papa" Bell 
The Color Barrier

League Play

Cool Papa Bell played for 25 years in the Negro Leagues. He played on a number of teams including the St. Louis Stars, Detroit Wolves, Kansas City Monarchs, Homesteas Grays, Pittsburg Crawfords, Memphis Red Sox, and the Chicago American Giants. Bell played on so many teams because his services were in high demand and he would jump to a new team to help it survive. He would do what ever he could so that other people could have fun playing baseball.

This is a what a baseball card might have looked like for Cool Papa Bell while he was on the St. Louis Stars.

His Speed

Cool Papa Bell was and has been thought of as the fastest baseball to ever play the game. But how fast was he? People told lots of myths about his speed, like how he can flip the light switch and be in bed before the room went dark or if he were to hit a ball up the middle he would be called out because the ball would hit him as he slid into second base. His speed, though, wasn't fake. He was clocked running around the baseball diamond, 360 feet, in 12 seconds flat. He used his speed to do many things like steal second base and third base in one at bat and then score on the next play. At the time Jesse Owens was the olympic gold medalist for the 100 yd dash and he wouldn't even race Bell because he was afraid that he would lose. 

This was a newspaper article that was out at the time when they played. 

This is a newspaper article that was out at the time when Cool Papa Bell played..

Career Awards

Cool Papa Bell played for over 30 years and has won countless championship type games. He won 3 titles in his first years with the St. Louis Stars in 1928, 1930, and in 1931. Bell also was an 8x All-Star player in the years 1933-1936, and 1942-1944. The other really great thing that Bell did was that he hit .337 for his entire career. Bell was awarded the Washington Nationals Ring of Honor 19 years after he died. Though he never played in the major leagues, the Nationals honored great Negro League players. Bell was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974.