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Jay Bell has been named the manager of the Rocket City Trash Pandas. Bell is an 18-year veteran of Major League Baseball. Photo- Trash Pandas

Trash Pandas Name Jay Bell Manager

Jay Bell, left, is congratulated by Trash Pandas President and CEO Ralph Nelson, right, at the press announcement Tuesday afternoon. CONTRIBUTED

MADISON – Forever enshrined in World Series history, 18-year veteran of Major League Baseball Jay Bell has been named the Rocket City Trash Pandas’ first manager by the Los Angeles Angels.

Introduced during a press conference at Toyota Field, Bell said, “I am ecstatic to manage the first Trash Pandas team and cannot wait to go to work daily at Toyota Field. I am certain the fan experience here will be second to none.”

Trash Pandas President and CEO Ralph Nelson, who signed Bell as a player with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 1998, said the Angels made an outstanding choice. Nelson added, “He is unsurpassed in his knowledge of the game of baseball- both off the field and on. Importantly, he brings championship experience to our dugout.”

Bell was a two-time All-Star and played for five Major League teams- Indians, Pirates, Royals, Diamondbacks and Mets. With the Diamondbacks in the 2001 World Series, Bell scored the winning run in game seven against the Yankees. When he crossed home plate, he jumped into the arms of Matt Williams in what has become a forever image in World Series history.

In his playing career, Bell batted .265 with 1,964 hits and scored 1,123 runs making two All-Star Teams and winning the 1993 National League Gold Glove Award at shortstop.

In 2019, Bell was the manager for the Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders, the New York Yankees Triple-A affiliate where his team posted a 76-65 record while winning the International League Northern Division.

“I am most excited for our community to learn what I’ve known for decades- that Jay Bell is a man of exemplary character and integrity who will lead our young players by example,” said Nelson. “He was also one of the smartest players I encountered in my 25 years in Major League Baseball. I have little doubt he will be a Major League manager in the not so distant future.”

“I’m excited about sharing my vision with the players entrusted to me this season. I have high expectations for them and my staff,” said Bell.

In 2012, he served as the hitting coach for the Mobile BayBears, then the Double-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Bell and Laura, his wife of 33 years, have three children, two of which play baseball professionally.

The Trash Pandas open the 2020 Southern League season April 9 at the Birmingham Barons for a five-game series. They make their Toyota Field debut April 15 when the Mississippi Braves visit.

“I am very fond of the Southern League and thankful to be part of this new chapter in its history and thrilled to be spending my summer in the great state of Alabama,” said Bell.

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