DETROIT (AP) — The umpiring crew for Game 3 of the AL championship series Tuesday lined up in missing-man formation during a moment of silence for umpire Wally Bell, who died of an apparent heart attack.
Jake Peavy, who will pitch Game 4 for Boston, began his news conference by offering condolences to Bell's family. "Wally was a tremendous, tremendous umpire, but a tremendous person as well," Peavy said. "We're here today, I think everybody, man for man in that clubhouse, I know I speak for our guys, we're devastated by the news last night and our thoughts and prayers are with his family."
The moment of silence was held before the national anthem at Comerica Park. Five umpires lined up next to each other, with a gap between them and the sixth member of the crew. At Dodger Stadium, there was a similar moment of silence before Game 4 of the NLCS between the Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals. Bell's photo was shown on the stadium video boards.
"Deepest regrets to his family," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said before the game. "Wally was a class individual and a very, very good umpire. I always had a lot of respect for how he went about his business. That was bad news for all of us, but our thoughts and prayers go out to his family."
Bell, a veteran of 21 big league seasons, died Monday at 48. "We are all shocked and saddened by Wally's passing," said Tony Clark, deputy executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association. "Throughout my playing career, I found Wally to be the consummate professional, whose passion and professionalism made him a master of his craft. On behalf of all players and the staff of the Players Association, I would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to Wally's family, friends and fellow World Umpires Association members."