#Spotlight – This week we pay tribute to the players of the Negro Leagues. Much attention is paid to their tremendous playing careers, but little if anything is known about their post playing exploits.
First up is Cool Papa Bell, considered the fastest man to ever play professional baseball; he actually retired the year before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame along with Mickey Mantle, White Ford, Jocko Conlan and Sam Thompson.
Upon retiring, Bell moved back to St. Louis where he worked as a scout for the St. Louis Browns. After four years of working with the Browns, Bell became a security guard and custodian for City Hall in St. Louis until 1970.
Cool Papa Bell would pass away in 1991 from a Heart Attack, followed a few weeks later by his wife Clara. Dickson Street in St. Louis would be renamed James “Cool Papa” Bell Avenue. He would forever be immortalized with a statue in front of Busch Stadium in St. Louis, and in a song by Paul Simon (link - https://youtu.be/Rm2LIorVaPw)