INDUCTEE 2013 – John “Zeke” Bella former Major League Baseball outfielder. Bella played for the New York Yankees in 1957 and the Kansas City Athletics in 1959. In 52 career games, he had 18 hits in 92 at-bats, with a .196 batting average. He batted right and threw left-handed. Bella was signed by the Yankees as an amateur free agent in 1951.
The 80-year-old Greenwich High School graduate played two seasons in the majors during the 1950s, appearing in 52 games, with 92 at-bats, for the New York Yankees and later, the Kansas City Athletics.Bella signed a contract with the New York Yankees in 1951, playing in the team’s farm system for several years.
After a three-year stint in the U.S. Army in Korea from 1951 to 1954, he returned to baseball in 1955, and was called up by the Yankees at the end of the 1957 season during the pennant drive.
Bella was traded to the Kansas City A’s in 1959, and retired from baseball at the end of that season after two eye operations. Settling with his wife in Greenwich in 1960, he worked for 31 years as an employee of the U.S. Postal Service in Cos Cob. Zeke will always be remembered as a town referee for youth sports and town wide baseball tournaments for many years.