The Minnesota Twins will play their spring training game in honor of bench coach Mike Bell after he died of kidney cancer on Friday, the team announced. Bell was 46.
The Twin said in a statement they are "devastated by the loss."
"In his short time with our club, Mike had an indelibly positive impact — not only on the quality of our team on the field, but most importantly upon everyone whom he met. Widely respected in our game, all who knew Mike, on and off the field, are better for the experience. The Twins join the baseball world in mourning Mike's untimely passing; our thoughts and best wishes are with his wife, Kelly, his three children, Luke, Mikayla and Madeline, and the entire Bell family during this difficult time."
Bell took indefinite leave from the team last month. He had surgery to remove the growth on Jan. 28, shortly after he was diagnosed with kidney cancer, and spent time recovering at home with his family.
D-backs honor former coach Mike Bell
The coach joined Minnesota ahead of the 2020 season to replace Derek Shelton, who took over the Pittsburgh Pirates manager position. The Twins won the division. Prior to his time there he was with the Arizona Diamondbacks for 13 years, moving up from minor league manager at the Short-A and Single-A programs to the vice president of player development.
The Diamondbacks wrote in a statement:
"Mike was truly beloved by everyone who knew him — from coaches and players to colleagues and staff in Arizona and throughout our minor league system. His loss leaves a huge hole in our hearts but his impact cannot be overstated and his legacy will not be forgotten. Mike brought authenticity and positive energy to every interaction he had, both on and off the field, and he was a true leader in the game of baseball that has embraced his family for three generations. Our deepest condolences are with Kelly, his children, Luke, Mikayla and Madeline, and the entire Bell family."
Mike Bell's grandfather, Gus, played 15 years in the major leagues. His father, Buddy, spent 27 years in MLB as both a player and manager and now works in the Cincinnati Reds front office. Mike's brother, David Bell, is the Reds manager.
Bell was also a third baseman in MLB and reached the major league level with the Reds in 2000.
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