Sporting News (@sportingnews) October 15, 2013
When a sports figure or their family member dies, the sports world reacts quickly on Twitter. Depending on how well-known that person was, tweets can range from ‘thoughts and prayers’ to some more meaningful. The sudden death of Major League Baseball umpire, Wally Bell, yesterday, generated both.
Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) October 15, 2013
Sad to hear about the passing of MLB umpire Wally Bell. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends...—
Brad Ziegler (@BradZiegler) October 15, 2013
Shocked by reports of the passing of ump Wally Bell. Sat with him on a plane last week. Loved his job & loved life vindy.com/news/2013/oct/…—
Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) October 15, 2013
sad news for me very sad about my guy wally—
Ozzie Guillen FND (@OzzieGuillen) October 15, 2013
R.I.P. Wally Bell. Was one of my favorite umpires in the game.—
Jeremy Affeldt (@JeremyAffeldt) October 15, 2013
Prayers to the family of Wally Bell. Sad to hear of his passing. He was the plate umpire in my first career win. #RIP—
Daniel Hudson (@DHuddy41) October 15, 2013
My condolences to Wally Bell's family. He always had great spirits on the field, i will always remember how he teased me about my beard.—
Jose Bautista (@JoeyBats19) October 15, 2013
Wally Bell was extremely approachable and very inviting of fans. Loved the game and a perfectionist. A true Ohio guy.—
Pedro Gomez (@pedrogomezESPN) October 15, 2013
So saddened by the passing of umpire Wally Bell. Tremendously respected in the game. A lot of heavy hearts around baseball tonight.—
Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) October 15, 2013
Rest in Peace Wally Bell you were always a great friend of my family and great person no matter what—
Mark Hirschbeck (@mhirschbeck11) October 14, 2013
Wally Bell will always be one of my favorite umpires in the game. My prayers go out to his friends and family. You will truly be missed—
andrew mccutchen (@TheCUTCH22) October 15, 2013
FINAL THOUGHTS: Wally Bell isn’t a household name. Diehard baseball fans know Wally Bell. But, the casual fan does not. Bell had been an MLB umpire for 21 years. After umpiring during the National League Division Series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and St Louis Cardinals last week, Bell had returned to his home state of Ohio. You can read more on the story on CBS Sports.
As with previous posts I’ve done like this before, the point of this post is not for now. It’s for the future. The future when Bell’s family and friends ache for his presence.
It’s for when the sound of ball hitting glove echoes through the diamonds.
It’s for when the home plate umpire, Bell’s friend maybe, yells out “Play Ball!” next season.
It’s for when they will see the empty spot on the field where he used to be. Where he should be.
It’s for when they will see the players he perhaps spoke fondly running the bases or up to bat.
It’s for the memories past and those moments future when the tweets can be the hug of comfort they so longingly want to feel.
RIP, Mr. Bell.