Troy, NY (NEWS10) — The ValleyCats get tips from a former major leaguer in manager Pete Incaviglia every day. This month, they’re also learning some tricks of the trade from a two-time all star. But Jay Bell is there for a whole lot more than baseball.
To baseball fans, Jay Bell is a lot of things. A two time All-Star, a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger recipient, a former World Series champion, and a former big league bench coach. But to Valleycats outfielder Brantley Bell, “It’s dad.”
Jay Bell decided to come see his son play for a few weeks, and asked a favor of his former spring ball teammate: Pete Incaviglia. “Would he mind if I came out and did a little coaching along the way,” said Bell. “He said absolutely.”
Jay managed Brantley in the Arizona Fall League in 2017, and the father-son duo are once again relishing the opportunity to spend quality time on and off the diamond. “To be able to be down on the field as he’s competing to try and be the best he can be, it’s always fun to lighten the mood or to encourage,” said Jay.
“It’s incentive to get on first base, I get to give him a high five every time I get out there,” said Brantley. “He’s not even really here to see me, he’s here to see his grandson and his daughter-in-law. I’m kind of down on the totem pole now. We’re just enjoying having him out here. It’s great that he’s been able to come to the field but the time at home has been just as nice if not better.”
While Jay’s priorities lie with his family, Brantley and his teammates are soaking up every moment. “It’s hard to not listen to him,” said Brantley. “He’s got a Gold Glove, got a Silver Slugger, a World Series trophy, so he’s checked all the boxes. He’s got a nice career in coaching too.”
With Jay’s experience, he obviously has more than few on-the diamond pointers to share. But he’s just as focused on lending a hand with the mental aspect of the game. “Try and find pleasure everyday in something or somebody, because we are not going to be perfect every day,” said Jay. “We are not going to have success every day, so in order to really fully enjoy this game, you need to find somebody that’s having success that day and take genuine pleasure in their successes.”
Jay will leave the team July 15th, but says he’s still open to coaching again down the line. Meanwhile, Brantley hopes his dad’s stint with the ValleyCats isn’t his last. “Hopefully he comes back at some point and we get to do it all over again.”