James Thomas "Cool Papa" Bell was a National Negro League all-star who was best known for his legendary speed. A center fielder, Bell's batting average was regularly over .4, and in one season he was said to have stolen 175 bases in just 200 games. Because of segregation, Bell was never able to play for a major league team, but he was considered by many to have been the fastest man in baseball's history. His story illuminates the financial and social struggles black players faced during a time of racial and political upheaval in America.
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