West Orange High School junior Josh Bell participated in the 2022 Hank Aaron Invitational, held July 25 to 30 in Atlanta. Bell was selected as one of the top 44 high school black baseball players from across the country.
Tell us about competing at the Hank Aaron Invitational in Atlanta.
This last week was pretty crazy. When I got there, just being surrounded by all those MLB coaches and former players — it was just something that you’d never see, really — it was just crazy. After lunch, we would play games against each other, and they would show us how to compete.
How did you find out you had been chosen for the Hank Aaron Invitational?
My dad just sent me an email saying that I got invited.
Tell us about the experience? Was it the first time you competed there?
So, my first year there, I had an arm injury, and I could only really hit, and I was limited to what I could do. But, this year, I stood out, obviously. I got invited to the top 44. And then it was just a different experience playing with seniors, as well, because they are much bigger and a lot of them are better, so it helps me elevate my game as well.
Being African-American, I mean Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier and all that, so it was pretty cool to be invited to that. And then, being with all those guys, it just shows me how much talent there is around the United States, and you don’t really know about it.
Have you thought about what you’d like to study in college?
Financial business or something like that.
Have you played other sports?
I played basketball basically all my life until I was 11 and then stopped. And I played golf, as well.
What do you love most about the sport?
Baseball teaches you how to be more of a man, because the game teaches you how to fail, because in baseball, you are failing more than you succeed. The greatest bat three out of 10 times to get on base, so it just teaches you how to learn to fail so it makes me a better man all-around.
Favorite thing about being a part of the Warriors?
I’ve been with coach (Kyle) Flannigan since day one here, and I just love him as a coach. He’s such a mentor to me, he just treats everyone equally, and he loves his players.
How do you believe baseball has influenced you in other areas of life?
With the failure thing probably, because you fail so many times, you have to learn how to deal with failure and just have a poker face on a lot of the times and learn how to accept what you are dealing with. (You learn to) just say, ‘This isn’t the most important thing; what you are doing next … that’s most important,” and just keep taking a step forward.
What’s your favorite movie?
“Remember the Titans.” I love the atmosphere of the movie.
What’s a TV series you are watching right now?
Just finished “Stranger Things.” I loved (it).
What’s your favorite Marvel movie?
“Spider-Man: Homecoming.” (I love that movie because of) Zendaya.
Who is your favorite superhero? Why?
Probably The Hulk. I like him in the Marvel movies; he’s pretty funny.
If you could have a superpower, which one would it be and why?
Teleportation, because I would just love to visit the world with the snap of a finger.
What is your favorite thing to do during the summer?
Probably go to the beach with my friends; it’s pretty fun. Playing music, and it’s just a lot of fun playing spike ball at the beach. I love doing that.
What’s your favorite food?
Ribeye steak and mashed potatoes.
Three things you would take with you to a deserted island?
A phone, a charger and probably water.
Favorite vacation place?
Colorado, for sure. It was my first time snowboarding last Christmas, and I loved it.
Three things on your bucket list?
Probably go to college for baseball, have a 4.0 GPA at the end of high school and be rich.