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Bozo the Clown’s grandson has big shoes to fill for Reds

Reds pitching prospect Trevor Bell has tattoos thhonor his grandfather Bob Bell who was legendary Bozo Clown Chicago televisifrom 1960

Reds pitching prospect Trevor Bell has tattoos that honor his grandfather, Bob Bell, who was the legendary Bozo the Clown on Chicago television from 1960 to 1984. The Enquirer/Gary Landers Reds. Cincinnati Reds pitcher Trevor Bell shows his tattoos, in honor of his grandfather, Bob Bell, who was famous for his alter-ego, Bozo the Clown. He was the original portrayer of the character for Chicago superstation WGN-TV. He is photographed here at spring training and player development complex in Goodyear, Arizona Wednesday March 5, 2014. The Enquirer/Gary Landers

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Updated: April 12, 2014 6:24AM

It’s rare to see Reds pitcher Trevor Bell without a smile.

That could be genetic, as the Bell family has been providing thousands of smiles for many years. Bell is the grandson of Bob Bell , who was Bozo the Clown from 1960 to 1984.

Bell has a tattoo of his grandfather on his left arm, as well as a pair of clown shoes with the words, ‘‘The shoes will never be filled.’’

Bob Bell, who died in 1997, served as a role model for his grandson, a first-round pick of the Angels in 2005 and now a reliever in the Reds’ spring camp. Trevor Bell uses stories of his grandfather’s work ethic as inspiration for his own work as a player.

‘‘He did it for 25 years straight; if I could play baseball for 25 years, that’d be incredible,’’ Bell said of his grandfather’s tenure on ‘‘Bozo’s Circus.’’ ‘‘It’d take him 3

1 2 hours to put his makeup on every day. He’d be up at 3:30 in the morning putting on his makeup, and he did it for the kids, and that’s all he did it for. He did it to lighten kids’ days. It was something that was totally selfless.’’

Bell made 52 appearances with the Angels from 2009-11. He signed with the Reds last June and impressed after becoming a closer with Class AA Pensacola.

Now, he’s hoping for another chance to get back to the big leagues, and if it came with Cincinnati, it would be quite the coincidence, considering his grandfather got one of his big breaks at WLW-AM and WLWT-TV in Cincinnati as part of the ‘‘Wally Phillips Show.’’

Bell smiles when he remembers his grandfather, who died when he was 11.

“He was just the type of person who could walk into a room and brighten everyone’s day no matter what,” Bell said. “Even without the makeup, he’d put it on and it’d be even more. It wasn’t a fake thing; he just loved to do that.”

— C. Trent Rosecrans, Cincinnati Enquirer

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