|Wally Bell officiated over 2,750 MLB games.|
After Monday's Cardinals-Dodgers game in Los Angeles, NLCS crew chief Gerry Davis spoke on behalf of his crew: "It was a devastating loss for us. Wally was a true umpire's umpire. 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."
Video: Cardinals-Dodgers hold a moment of silence at Dodger Stadium prior to Game 4 (TBS)
"We had to regroup rather quickly and put our concentration where it needed to be. We kept telling each other that that's the way Wally would have wanted it, and we know that that's really true. One of the things that we shared in the locker room afterwards is that I'm sure he's very proud right now."
Video: Davis & MLB EVP of Baseball Operations Joe Torre's press conference regarding Bell's passing
After LA's 3-0 victory over St. Louis, Dodgers catcher AJ Ellis stepped back from the celebration to offer perspective and reflect: "Fun team win 2nite but thoughts and prayers are with family and other umpires grieving loss of Wally Bell...Wally kept game fun and loose and I always looked forward to catching with him behind plate. I will miss his personality and professionalism."
Meanwhile, in the Boston-Detroit ALCS, crew chief Joe West, president of the World Umpires Association said, "Wally was a great umpire, a great partner and a great friend. The umpiring community is deeply saddened by this tragic loss. He will be sorely missed by many."
Boston pitcher Jake Peavy wrote: "Just heard the news & devastated about the passing of Wally Bell. A great umpire, a great man" while Shane Victorino added, "My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Wally Bell. So sad to hear (and) will remember him tomorrow as I take the field."
Jose Bautista remembered Bell's ebullient personality: "He always had great spirits on the field, i will always remember how he teased me about my beard."
MLB.com's Cut4 captured additional thoughts in "The 140 Club": "Players mourn the loss of Wally Bell."
Added fellow umpire John Hirschbeck: "He was like to a son to me, my wife Denise, very dear friend. It’s devastating. Wally was one of the first to call me and congratulate me on working the World Series."
Bell is the first MLB umpire to die while on the active roster since John McSherry, who passed away of a heart attack during Opening Day 1996 in Cincinnati and first active pro official to die since Greg Willard of the NBA.
Bell, who volunteered for the American Heart Association and officiated high school basketball during the winter offseason, returned to baseball after undergoing open heart surgery in 1999. Bell is survived by his children Jason Patrick (8/10/99) and Lindsey Jane (9/27/00), two brothers and a sister.