We have some sad news to report in the world of baseball — news that affects this year’s postseason.
The Washington Post reports a week following his work behind the plate during the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals showdown for the NLDS, MLB umpire Wally Bell has died of a heart attack.
In 1999, Wally Bell had a quintuple bypass and earned an eight-inch scar down the middle of his chest as a memory of this plight. It seems heart failure ran in the family because Bell’s dad passed of a heart attack, before suffering two other heart attacks.
“All of us at Major League Baseball are in mourning tonight regarding the sudden passing of Wally Bell,” 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.”
Wally Bell was the first active MLB umpire to die since John McSherry passed away of a heart attack on the field in Cincinnati on opening day in 1996. He was a 21-year veteran who worked four league championship series and seven division series.
Wally Bell was 48 years old.