It seems like it was just yesterday. August 18, 2014 marked the end of a magical season for the 2014 Bellingham Bells. As team members dog-piled along the first base line, Joe Martin Field came alive as fans in the stands cheered and gave a standing ovation, the entire community coming together to celebrate the Bells’ first West Coast League championship.
Almost two years removed from that special season, we check back with the 2014 team to find out what they’re up to now. While some have moved on to professional baseball, others remain collegiate athletes. Some have left the diamond and moved on to the professional world. No matter where life has taken them, they forever remain part of our Bells' family and will be remembered as a special group of players who brought the Bells' first ever WCL championship home to Bellingham.
In the Minors: Eight Bells from the 2014 roster were drafted into Major League Baseball—7 during the 2016 draft, and one in the 2015 draft (Gabe Cramer). This is the highest number of Bellingham Bells from a single team to be drafted in the same year in the history of team ownership (since 2011).
Colby Woodmansee (ASU) was the highest drafted Bell to come off the board in 2016, going to the New York Mets in the fifth round. Woodmansee spent the 2016 season with the Brooklyn Cyclones and was named to the New York-Penn League All-Star Team.
Flamethrower Hever Bueno (ASU) was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the ninth round. Bueno spent the 2016 season with the Rangers’ Rookie League team, the AZL Rangers. He missed most of the 2016 season due to injury.
Michael Rucker (BYU), a 2013 & 2014 Bell, was taken by the Chicago Cubs in the eleventh round. Rucker’s 2016 season was spent with the 2016 Northwest League champion Eugene Emeralds. Rucker maintained a .55 ERA over 16.1 innings pitched, and was the winning pitcher in game one of the NWL Championship Series versus the Everett AquaSox.
2014 West Coast League Pitcher of the Year Seth Martinez (ASU), is currently in the Oakland Athletics’ organization after being drafted in the 17th round of the 2016 MLB draft. Martinez pitched for the AZL Athletics Rookie League team during summer 2016, finishing the season with a 3.86 ERA.
Chris Baker (Washington), fresh off a 2016 NCAA Regional appearance with the Washington Huskies, went to the San Diego Padres with the 504th overall pick (17th round). Baker began his season with the Tri-City Dust Devils, where he was named a Northwest League All-Star. In August 2016, Baker was promoted to the Padres’ Class-A team, the Fort Wayne Tin Caps.
Three-year Bell Walker Olis (Pacific U) was drafted by the Miami Marlins in the 29th round of the 2016 MLB Draft. Olis started the 2016 season with the GCL Marlins, where he batted .247 with 24 hits and 5 RBIs in 102 at bats. In early August, Olis was promoted to the short-season A Batavia Muckdogs, where he drove in 5 RBIs and 11 runs in 97 at-bats.
Pitcher Gabe Cramer (Stanford) was selected in the 2015 MLB draft by the Kansas City Royals. After spending time in the rookie league during the 2015 season, Cramer pitched for the Lexington Legends (Class A) during the 2016 season. In 43.2 innings pitched, Cramer struck out 57 batters.
Left-handed pitcher Dan Ludwig (Belmont) spent the 2016 season playing independent professional baseball for the Gary South Shore Rail Cats in Gary, Indiana. Ludwig returned to the Rail Cats in 2016 after a short stint with the team in 2015.
Still in School: Seven of the 2014 Bells have eligibility remaining and will return for their senior seasons in 2017. Among them is three-year Bell Zach Johnson (Oklahoma-Wesleyan, senior), who returned to pitch for the Bells during the 2015 & 2016 seasons, helping the Bells to advance to the playoffs both years. Outfielder Jack Klein (Stanford, senior) was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 33rd round of the 2016 MLB draft and opted to return to Stanford University for his senior season in 2017. LHP Andrew Summerville (Stanford, junior) started seven games for the Cardinal in 2016, and appeared in 16, finishing with a 5-2 record and a 2.90 ERA in 59 innings pitched. Summerville was also named to the First-Team All Pac-12 Academic Team. Outfielder Lou Della Fera (Maine, senior) will return to Maine for his senior year in 2017 after being named a 2016 America-East All-Academic All Star. Pitcher Eder Erives (ASU, senior), was named a Pac-12 All Conference Honorable Mention in 2016 after posting a 6-2 record with a 2.95 ERA with 73 strikeouts and 10 saves. Mo Ceja (UCLA, senior) posted UCLA’s lowest ERA during the 2016 season (2.60) and recorded four saves. Burk FitzPatrick (Delaware, senior) pitched 51.1 innings for the Blue Hens in 2016, striking out 50 and picking up four saves.
Out of School: For some on the 2014 roster, their college days are behind them as they begin to pursue careers in the professional world. Scott Heath (1B/P) is currently serving as the volunteer assistant coach at his alma mater, the University of Maine. Nate Anderson (OF) is completing his Communication degree at Western Washington University and has worked for the Bells as the official scorekeeper. David Bigelow (P), the save pitcher of record in the WCL title game, received his MBA from Gonzaga University & is working in business/finance in the Seattle area. Two-year Bell Dustin Breshears (SS) is a 2017 MBA candidate at Gonzaga University.