Albert Belle – 3 Most Strange But Memorable Moments

May 31, 2023

Andy Billman

On this day May 31st, back in 1996, Belle put a forearm shiver into Brewer Fernando Vina.

Here are our top 3 strange and memorable moments around Albert Belle and his time with the Cleveland Indians

1 – Belle and Vina

As we mentioned at the top, this is the anniversary of the meeting between Belle putting Vina down, and stopping the double play from happening while creating all sorts of media headlines. Belle eventually would be suspended by MLB for two games and fined $25,000 for the incident.  It became such a media circus that Belle later in the season would do an interview with famed director Spike Lee on the HBO show “Real Sports”. During the show, which was totally devoted to Belle’s interview with Lee, Belle said to Lee “I definitely had no intentions of trying to hurt him (Vina) or end his career or knock him out for the rest of the season.″ 

2 – Corked bat fiasco 

In 1994, Albert Belle was involved in a controversial incident commonly referred to as the “corked bat incident.” On July 15th, 1994 against the Chicago White Sox, Belle’s bat shattered, revealing a corked interior. He was subsequently ejected from the game and faced a suspension. Knowing the bat was corked, the Indians decided to get the bat back so there would be no suspension. Reliever Jason Grimsley was accused of attempting to replace Belle’s corked bat with a regular one during the game to avoid detection. Grimsley later admitted his involvement and cooperated with the league’s investigation. The incident resulted in suspensions for both Belle and Grimsley and further scrutiny of the use of illegal equipment in baseball.

3 – Mr. Freeze 

Albert loved keeping the temperature in the clubhouse cold, and to some, it was too cold. Teammates would always try to turn the temperature a little warmer, but Belle would have none of that, making him the keeper of the thermostat.  Once Omar Vizquel, turned the heat up a bit to mess with Belle. Belle promptly threw an object through the thermostat, breaking it and cracking the wall. Later on, an anonymous teammate put white tape over the incident with “Mr. Freeze” written on it.  From that moment on, in the locker room, Belle would be known as Mr. Freeze. 

Oh, Albert! We miss you!

Albert Belle, though no longer active in the baseball world, has left an unforgettable mark through a series of significant moments. Whether his encounter with Fernando Vina, resulted in a suspension and fine, the infamous corked bat incident in 1994, and, of course, Belle’s reputation as “Mr. Freeze” are lasting memories for die-hard Cleveland Indians fans. While Albert Belle’s playing days are behind him, his impact and legacy in Cleveland are impossible to forget.

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