As the HardballTalk article states, Wally Bell was never involved in any notable controversy; he did his job, and he did it well. He was one of the ever shrinking number of umpires who knew the people came to see the players play, not the umpires officiate. Prayers for him and his family during this difficult time.
Rest in peace, Wally.
Originally posted on HardballTalk:
Sad news coming out of Ohio on Monday night: Wally Bell, who just finished working the Cardinals-Pirates NLDS series last week, has passed away of an apparent heart attack, according to the Youngtown Vindicator.
“One on my dearest friends,” fellow umpire John Hirschbeck told Youngstown’s WFMJ. “We worked together for 11 years. He was like to a son to me, my wife Denise, very dear friend. It’s devastating. Wally was one of the first to call me and congratulate me on working the World Series.”
Bell had spent 21 years as a major league ump, handling one World Series, four LCSs and seven LDSs. According to his MLB.com bio, his proudest moment as a major league ump was returning to the field following open heart surgery in 1999.