So sad. The MLB tragically lost an umpire when Wally passed away on Oct. 14 from a heart attack.
Wally Bell, a veteran umpire for the MLB, died from a massive heart attack on Oct. 14. He was in his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio, when he passed away at the age of 48 years old.
Wally Bell Passes Away At The Age Of 48
Wally’s death caused the MLB to grieve over the loss of the good-natured umpire, who worked in both major leagues for 13 years.
He was the umpire for the National League playoff series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals a week before he passed away.
“I am deeply saddened and shocked at the loss of Umpire Wally Bell,” MLB executive vice president of baseball operations Joe Torre said. “Umpiring was his life, and he touched so many people within the game of baseball. Aside from being an accomplished, All-Star-caliber umpire, Wally was a loving dad to his two teenage children. I extend my deepest condolences to them, his girlfriend Renee, the rest of his family and his admirers across Major League Baseball.”
Bell previously had quintuple bypass surgery in 1999, leaving him with a scar on his chest.
Wally Bell Was A ‘Terrific Umpire And An Impressive Young Man’
Wally did charity work with the American Heart Association after his first heart attack. He also umpired the first baseball game in NYC following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
He became an umpire for Little League at 17, following his passion throughout his life. Wally was a minor league umpire for eight years, and then moved up to the major leagues in 1992. He also umpired the World Series game in 2006.
“All of us at Major League Baseball are in mourning tonight regarding the sudden passing of Wally Bell,” MLB commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. “I always enjoyed seeing Wally, who was a terrific umpire and such an impressive young man. On behalf of our 30 Clubs, I extend my deepest condolences to Wally’s family, fellow Umpires and his many friends throughout the game.”
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Wally’s family and friends at this time.
— Ivy Jacobson