Earlier today, the Minnesota Twins announced that bench coach Mike Bell lost his battle with cancer at the age of 46.
The entire Minnesota Twins organization is saddened by the death of current bench coach Mike Bell, who passed away today at the age of 46 from cancer.— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) March 26, 2021
At the request of the Bell family, we will play tonight’s game in honor of Mike. pic.twitter.com/3Eq2N08aUO
Bell was diagnosed with kidney cancer this offseason, and underwent a procedure in January to remove a growth and surrounding tissue. He was working remotely with the Twins this spring, helping to run the team’s spring training activities. Staff assistant, and former bullpen catcher, Nate Dammann helped Bell in that role, and will likely take the lead on it in the short term, as the team had not named an interim bench coach during Bell’s extended leave.
Mike Bell comes from a “baseball family” as his brother is current Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell, and his father Buddy Bell also had a long career as a MLB manager and player, as did grandpa Gus Bell. Mike’s playing career saw him drafted in the first round by the Texas Rangers in 1993, finally debuting with the Reds seven years later. Bell only got a cup of coffee—19 plate appearances and 49 defensive innings—in the majors. In the minors, he was a part of the Rangers, Mets, Reds, Rockies, Diamondbacks, White Sox, and Cardinals organizations before retiring in 2005 at the age of 30. After that he spent a decade in player development for Arizona, and joined Rocco Baldelli’s staff as bench coach prior to the 2020 season.
Our condolences to Mike Bell’s family, friends, and teammates at this time. Cancer sucks.