MLB Umpire Wally Bell Dies Suddenly at the Age of 48

Veteran MLB Umpire Wally Bell was never part of any major controversies.  That’s not to say he didn’t have people screaming at the TV from time to time.  That is just the nature of the beast for an MLB Umpire.  Wally, though, did his job particularly well and the fact that there isn’t a game or call that stands out in his 21 years of service can attest to that.

Wally Bell, a Youngstown, Ohio native (what up), was back in the area over the weekend to attend his alma mater’s, Austintown Fitch High School, Hall of Fame dinner.  Unfortunately, Bell passed away Monday afternoon after suffering a major heart attack.

This wasn’t the first time Bell experienced heart problems. In 1999, when he was in his mid-30’s, Bell required open heart surgery. This, in turn, produced his proudest moment as a Major League Umpire when he was able to return to the field post surgery and do the  job he loved.

Fellow Youngstown Boy John Hirschbeck reflected on the loss of a friend.

One of my dearest friends. We worked together for 11 years. He was like a son to me, my wife Denise, a very dear friend. It’s devastating. Wally was one of the first to call me and congratulate me on working the World Series.

Wally Bell made it to the Major Leagues by the time he was 27 years old. 27. He worked the 2006 World Series, the 2000, 2001 and 2005 LCS and the LDS in 1998, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2013. He also worked the 2000 All-Star Game.

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