Thomas C. Bell, 53, a retired assistant D.C. Corporation counsel who was active in amateur baseball, died of congestive heart failure Sunday at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda.

Mr. Bell, who was athletic director of the Catholic Youth Organization of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Bethesda, helped coach the Maryland State Eagles and the Bill Cecile League, both amateur baseball teams in Prince George's County whose members are 19 years and under. He had served as commissioner and deputy commissioner of the Industrial Baseball League and was a member of the Montgomery County Boys Baseball Association.

For his contributions to amateur baseball, he received the Maryland State Baseball Association's Edward W. Brooks Award in 1976. In 1977, he received an award from the Korean national baseball team for his contribution in promoting the baseball exchange program between the United States and Korea.

Mr. Bell, who had been a first lieutenant in the Army during World War II, graduated from LaCrosse State Teacher's College in Wisconsin. He taught mathematics, history and ROTC in Washington schools after serving in the Korean war. While teaching, he attended the Washington College of Law here and graduated in 1959.

After one year in private practice, Mr. Bell was named an assistant D.C. corporation counsel from 1960 until 1976, when he retired because of ill health.

Survivors include his wife, Barbara M., a daughter, Mary Ann, and a son, Thomas James, all of the home in Bethesda.