Major League Baseball umpire Wally Bell has died at age 48, just one week after umpiring a National League game between the Pirates and Cardinals.
Bell, who underwent bypass surgery in 1999, had not been feeling well over the weekend and died of an apparent heart attack Monday, The Associated Press said
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“I am deeply saddened and shocked at the loss of Umpire Wally Bell,” said MLB Executive Vice President for Baseball Operations Joe Torre in a release
. “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.”
A 21-year veteran of Major League Baseball, Bell had worked three All-Star Games, the 2006 World Series, seven Division Series, and four League Championship Series, an MLB release said.
“It was a devastating loss for us. Wally was a true umpire’s umpire,” Gerry Davis, a crew chief for the NL championship, told the AP. “I think if you'll check with the players and teams they felt the same way because Wally always gave 110 percent on the field.”
The news of Bell’s death spread online, bringing comments from many baseball players who met him on the field.
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