Jay Bell (Born December 11, 1965 in Eglin AFB, Florida) is a Major League Baseball shortstop/second baseman and right-handed batter who played for the Cleveland Indians (1986-88), Pittsburgh Pirates (1989-96), Kansas City Royals (1997), Arizona Diamondbacks (1998-2002) and New York Mets (2003).
Bell maintained his reputation as one of the best shortstops in the 1990s. His range was only average but he had a great knowledge of the hitters and positioned himself well. Originally a first-round pick of the Minnesota Twins in 1984, Bell made 129 errors over his first three minor-league seasons. The following year he was traded to the Indians in a deal that brought starter Bert Blyleven to Minnesota, and when he finally reached the majors in 1986 he faced Blyleven in his first major-league at-bat. Bell promptly ripped the first pitch he saw for a home run, the 50th allowed by Blyleven in the season: a MLB record that's still intact.
Bell won a Gold Glove Award award in 1993, breaking a string of thirteen straight National League Gold Gloves at shortstop by Ozzie Smith.
Though mostly a singles and doubles hitter at first, Bell was also an expert at bunting. Bell did show early signs of his power potential hitting 21 home runs in 1997 and 20 in 1998. A trial switch to second base at end of the '98 season became a permanent move the next spring. Bell belted 36 of his 38 homers from his new position, a total exceeded only by Rogers Hornsby, Davey Johnson and Ryne Sandberg among second basemen. One of those round-trippers, was a sixth-inning grand slam off the Oakland Athletics pitcher Jimmy Haynes on the final game before the All-Star break, that won $1 million for an Arizona fan who had correctly predicted the batter and the inning for a bases-loaded blast.
In 2001, Bell scored the winning run for the Diamondbacks in Game 7 of the World Series against the New York Yankees.
In his career, Bell batted for .265, with 195 home runs, 868 runs batted in, 1123 runs scored, 394 doubles, 67 triples and 91 stolen bases. He also won the Gold Glove award in 1993 and was selected to the All-Star game the same year and in 1999.
Jay Bell currently assists Bob Melvin as bench coach of the Arizona Diamondbacks.