Third Generation Bell, Mike, dies at age 46

Mike Bell, the bench coach of the Minnesota Twins, died on March 26 at the age of 46.

He is the son of former major leaguer Buddy Bell, the grandson of former major leaguer Gus Bell, the brother of former major leaguer David Bell, and brother of former minor leaguer Ricky Bell.

Mike was a first-round pick of the Texas Rangers in the 1993 MLB Draft. He played part of one season with the Cincinnati Reds in 2000. Prior to joining the Twins, he served as Vice President of Player Development for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He held other front office and minor league managerial jobs during his career.

Click here to read more about Mike Bell.

Minasian brothers carry on family tradition

When Zack Minasian was working in the home and visiting clubhouses for the Texas Rangers during 1989 to 2009, he introduced his three sons to major league baseball by enlisting them to help him as attendants in the Rangers clubhouse. Now, all three of the sons have significant jobs in baseball.

Perry Minasian was named the new general manager of the Los Angeles Angels over the winter.

Calvin Minasian is the new director of clubhouse and equipment for the Atlanta Braves.

Zack Minasian is the pro scouting director for the San Francisco Giants.

Read more about the Minasian brothers by clicking here.

Tyler Nevin inherits love of baseball from his father

Tyler Nevin is a prospect in spring training for the Baltimore Orioles this year. He had previously been in the Colorado Rockies organization after being a supplemental first-round pick the 2015 MLB Draft. His father, Phil, was also a first-round pick of the Houston Astros in 1992 and went on to play 12 seasons in the big leagues. He is currently in his fourth season as the New Yankees’ third base coach.

Tyler acquired his interest in the game as a youngster, hanging out with his father at the ballpark and keeping scores of games. He hopes to get a shot in the big leagues himself, perhaps as an opponent of his dad.

For more information about Tyler Nevin, click here.

Todd Stottlemyre chose non-baseball career after retirement as player

Todd Stottlemyre was one of Mel Stottlemyre Sr.‘s two sons to play professional baseball. He pitched for 14 major-league season during 1988 to 2002, primarily for Toronto. He won two World Series rings with the Blue Jays, while also appearing in the post-season with the Cardinals, Rangers, and Diamondbacks. His career record was 138-121 with a 4.28 ERA in 372 games.

Unlike his father and brother Mel Jr., Todd didn’t choose a career in baseball after his retirement in 2002. He was successful in the finance industry and currently serves as a life coach, primarily to business executives.

Mel Sr. was a star pitcher for the New York Yankees from 1964 to 1974. His career included five all-star season. He finished with a 163-139 record and 2.98 ERA. He pitched in the 1964 World Series with the Yankees. After his playing career, he was a long-time pitching coach for the Mets, Astros, Yankees, and Mariners.

Mel Jr. pitched in 13 games during his only season in the majors with the Kansas City Royals. He followed in father’s footsteps as a pitching coach, currently with the Miami Marlins. He previously served in that role for Arizona and Seattle.

Todd and his father are among the most prolific father-son pitching combinations in history with 302 combined wins.

To read more information about Todd Stottlemyre, click here.

Norm Sherry dies at 89

Norm Sherry, a long-time major-league player, coach, and manager, died on March 8. He was 89 years old.

Sherry was a back-up catcher for five seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers during 1959-1963. He is credited with helping Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax develop into an all-star hurler.

Sherry’s brother, Larry, had a more significant playing career as a relief pitcher. He played 11 seasons and was the MVP of the 1959 World Series with the Dodgers, when he was credited with two wins and two saves.

On May 7, 1960, Norm hit his first major-league home run to give the winning decision to his younger brother Larry. It was the first time they had appeared together in a major-league game.

Norm and Larry had a brother, George, who played in the minors for one season in 1951.

For more information about Norm Sherry, click here.

Ryan Ripken hopes to catch on with his father’s former team

Ryan Ripken, son of Cal Ripken Jr., has been invited to the 2021 Baltimore Orioles spring training camp. Cal Jr. played 21 seasons with the Orioles and was ultimately elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Ryan was originally drafted by the Orioles in the 20th round of the 2012 MLB Draft by the Orioles, but he did not sign. Two years later, he was selected by the Washington Nationals in the 15th round.

He struggled in the low minors in the Nationals organization and eventually signed on with the Orioles organization in 2017. His last season was with Orioles Class A affiliate Frederick in 2019, having missed the 2020 season when the minor league season were cancelled due to the pandemic.

Ryan’s career slash line in the minors is .242/.281/.331.

Click here for more information about Ryan Ripken.

Billy Conigliaro, Tony’s brother, dies at 73

Billy Conigliaro, a major leaguer from 1969 to 1973 with the Red Sox, Brewers, and A’s died on February 10 at age 73. He was the younger brother of popular Red Sox star Tony Conigliaro.

Billy was a first-round pick (5th overall) of the Boston Red Sox in the 1965 MLB Draft. He made his major-league debut with the Red Sox in 1969 and played in 32 games, hitting .288 with four home runs.

He became a regular in the Red Sox outfield in 1970 when his brother Tony was also an outfielder. Billy had his best season, hitting 18 HRs and 58 RBIs, while hitting .271. After one more season with Boston, he played with the Milwaukee Brewers in 1972 and the Oakland A’s in 1973.

Read more about Billy’s career by clicking here.

“Candy Jim” Taylor one of four brothers in Negro Leagues

“Candy Jim” Taylor spent over 40 years in the Negro Leagues as a player and manager. According o the Seamheads website, he amassed the most managerial wins (991) in the Negro Leagues. His teams won league championships in 1928 (St. Louis Stars), and in 1943 and 1944 (Homestead Grays).

Taylor was one of four brothers who played in the Negro Leagues. Brother Ben Taylor, a first baseman, was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006. Brothers C. I. Taylor and Johnny Taylor were a second and pitcher, respectively.

To read more about Candy Jim, click here for an article from mlb.com, which makes a case for his belonging to the Hall of Fame.

Jose Cruz Jr. among Top 60 all-time greatest Blue Jays

Jose Cruz Jr. followed in his father’s footsteps as a major-league outfielder. Jose Cruz Sr. was a 19-year veteran of the big leagues, playing primarily for the Houston Astros and St. Louis Cardinals. He finished in the top 10 for MVP voting in three seasons.

Cruz Jr. played 12 seasons in the majors, including six with the Blue Jays. He was the third overall pick of the Seattle Mariners in the 1995 MLB Draft after playing collegiately at Rice University. He was runner-up for AL Rookie of the Year in his debut season in 1997.

His most productive season came in 2001 when he hit 34 home runs and drove in 88 runs with the Blue Jays. He was Gold Glove winner in 2003 with the Giants.

The Cruz family could become a three-generation major-league family if Cruz Jr.’s son Trei Cruz eventually reaches the big leagues. Trei, who also played at Rice, was a third-round pick of the Detroit Tigers in 2020.

For more information about Jose Cruz Jr.’s career with Toronto, click here for an article in SBNation about the Top 60 Blue Jays players of all time.

Hank Aaron’s ties to New Orleans added to his home run legacy

Hall of Famer Hank Aaron died on January 22, 2021 at age 86. Besides being one of the best all-time major leaguers, he was even more well-respected off the field. A perennial all-star, he still holds major-league records for RBIs and total bases. Of course, he is most known for breaking Babe Ruth’s long-standing record of 714 home runs. Altogether he hit 755 homers during his 23-year career.

Aaron’s career brought him to New Orleans on a couple of occasions–in fact, he hit homers in back-to-back games, although they were not part of hit 755 number.

Click here to read my story about Aaron’s games in the Big Easy.

Aaron had several family ties in pro baseball. His brother Tommie played for the Braves from 1962-1971. His brother-in-law Bill Lucas was an executive in the Braves front office. His son Hank Jr. was a scout in the Braves organization. His son Lary played in the Braves minor-league system in 1981-1982 and then became a scout for the Braves. His cousins Wilmer and Melvin played in the minors in the 1970s.

Click here to read more about Hank Aaron’s career.