Cell therapy has tremendous potential for the damaged heart, which has limited self-renewing capability. Bone marrow (BM) cells are attractive for cell therapy, as they contain diverse stem and progenitor cell populations that can give rise to various cell types, including cardiomyocytes, endothelial cells, and smooth muscle cells. Studies have shown BM cells to be safe and efficacious in the treatment of myocardial infarction. Possible therapeutic mechanisms mediated by both host and transplanted cells include cardiomyogenesis, neovascularization, and attenuation of adverse remodeling. In this review, different stem and progenitor cells in the bone marrow and their application in cell therapy are reviewed, and evidence for their therapeutic mechanisms is discussed.