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What Happened to Albert Belle and Where is He Now?
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File

Former MLB slugger Albert Belle had a tremendous baseball career, but his play on the field was often buried by his antics off of it.

The Cleveland Indians star spent 12 seasons in the pros before walking away in 2000.

Although he managed to get his name on Hall of Fame ballots, Belle failed to reach the minimum vote percentage necessary to be inducted and ultimately put an end to any debate over his inclusion.

While Belle will never be enshrined in Cooperstown, his love for baseball hasn’t faltered.

So, what is Belle up to now?

Albert Belle’s MLB Career

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Albert Belle attended Huntington High School in Shreveport, Louisiana, and played his college ball at Louisiana State University. He was selected by the Indians in the 1987 MLB Draft and made his MLB debut in 1989.

Belle made his first of five All-Star appearances in 1993. The next year, Belle logged a .357 batting average, but lost the batting title by a slim margin to New York Yankees star Paul O’Neill.

The slugger finished second in American League MVP voting in 1995 after hitting a career-high 50 home runs and driving in 126 RBIs with 377 total bases, a .317 batting average, a slugging percentage of .690 and logging a 1.091 OPS.

Belle was the first player in MLB history to hit 50 home runs and 50 doubles in the same season.

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Despite winning the Silver Slugger and having better counting stats, Belle placed behind Boston Red Sox slugger Mo Vaughn in the MVP race. He even led the Tribe to the World Series that year before losing to the Atlanta Braves.

From 1992-99, Belle became one of just four players in MLB history, including Babe Ruth, to record eight-consecutive years of 30-plus home runs and 100-plus RBIs.

One of the best power hitters of his generation, competing with the likes of Ken Griffey Jr., Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire, Belle hit 242 home runs throughout his tenure in Cleveland before joining the Chicago White Sox in 1997 as a free agent.

While in Chicago, Belle set the franchise’s single-season record for RBIs when he knocked in 152 in 1998.

The five-time All-Star outfielder then signed a five-year, $65 million deal with the Baltimore Orioles, which (briefly) made him the highest-paid player in the league, and the first player in baseball history to make $10 million annually.

Despite signing on for five years, Belle only played two seasons in Baltimore before his career concluded. He sustained a hip injury in Spring Training in 2001, and never managed to play another regular season game.

Belle may take solace knowing that the final at-bat of his career was a home run.

Albert Belle Now

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Throughout Belle’s career, the former Major League Baseball player and LSU star struggled with vices off the field.

He battled alcoholism and anger issues, and even attended rehab.

In 1995, Belle reportedly chased down teenagers who egged his house on Halloween. In 2006, he faced 90 days in jail after pleading guilty to stalking his ex-girlfriend.

Belle, who formerly went by the name Joey — a nickname of his middle name Jojuan — declared he wanted to be called Albert in the early 90s as a sign of a new beginning.

He also found controversy on the field, however. He was suspended seven games in 1994 after being caught using a corked bat — a topic which came under more scrutiny following the release of Omar Vizquel’s autobiography — and was also fined for knocking down a Brewers infielder who was in the base path.

Additionally, he threw a ball at a fan who was chirping at him from the stands, and was fined $50,000 for a tirade on NBC reporter Hannah Storm.

Belle was also sued after he threw a baseball at, and nearly hit, Sports Illustrated photographer Tony Tomsic, who was taking long distance photos of Belle for the magazine’s cover.

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More recently, Belle was arrested in Scottsdale, Arizona, and was charged with indecent exposure and a DUI in 2018 at a Spring Training game. Charges against Belle were later dropped.

Today, Belle still talks baseball, including on ESPN Cleveland’s Really Big Show.

MORE: Sammy Sosa’s Corked Bat Stained His Image Forever

Karl Rasmussen is a sports writer living in Brooklyn, NY. He studied journalism at the University of Oregon and is an avid fan of the Oregon Ducks, Portland Trail Blazers, New York Yankees and New York Jets.
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