Buddy Bell – 1973 Topps
With baseball in his blood, Buddy Bell started to make a name for himself up in the northern part of the state with the Cleveland Indians in the 1970s.
The son of the Cincinnati Reds all-star outfielder Gus Bell, the younger Bell broke in with the Cleveland Indians as an outfielder in 1972.
Buddy started 120 games during his rookie campaign. His .255 average along with 119 hits and nine home runs were good enough to earn a spot on Topps’ All-Star Rookie team in 1973.
His card that season featured the second generation slugger posing along the third base line at the old Yankee Stadium. The background of the photo features the iconic white frieze that circled the upper deck of the stadium and the neighboring Bronx apartment building which can be seen peering over the exterior wall in left field.
When the stadium was renovated from 1974-75, a wall was built behind the bleachers blocking the views from Gerard Avenue and the elevated subway platform above River Avenue.
Bell hit his stride during his second season. The Indians moved the outfielder to third base, where he remained for the rest of his career. Bell was Cleveland’s lone representative to the 1973 All-Star game, the first of his five selections.
Bell remained with the Tribe until he was traded following the 1978 season to the Texas Rangers for infielder Toby Harrah.
Bell flourished in Texas including his finest season as a big leaguer in 1979. That season he collecting 200 hits, 101 runs batted in and his first Gold Glove Award. He went was named to the American League All-Star team as a member of the Rangers four times from 1980-84.