Ted Simmons

Positions: Catcher and First Baseman
Bats: Both  •  Throws: Right
5-11, 193lb (180cm, 87kg)
Born: August 9, 1949 in Highland Park, MI
Draft: Drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1st round (10th) of the 1967 MLB June Amateur Draft from Southfield HS (Southfield, MI).
High School: Southfield HS (Southfield, MI)
Schools: University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI), Wayne State University (Detroit, MI)
Debut: September 21, 1968 (Age 19-043d, 10,369th in MLB history)
vs. LAD 2 AB, 1 H, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 SB
Last Game: October 2, 1988 (Age 39-054d)
vs. CIN 4 AB, 0 H, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 SB
Full Name: Ted Lyle Simmons
Nicknames: Simba
Hall of Fame: Elected into the Hall of Fame on December 8, 2019, by the Modern Committee.
Statistics: Ted Simmons Stats

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The switch-hitting catcher spent 21 years in the big leagues, and retired with more RBI than Johnny Bench, more runs scored than Gary Carter, more hits than Carlton Fisk, and a higher batting average than Yogi Berra. But his longevity has not obscured the fact that he was considered a mediocre defensive catcher, against whom baserunners frequently ran wild. With the stick however, Simmons accumulated 2,472 hits, the highest figure by a player who was primarily a catcher. He hit .300 sevent times, and was frequently among league leaders in hits, doubles, and intentional walks.

Quotes About Ted Simmons
“All you ever hear is Bench and Munson and Fisk. Nobody ever talks about Simmons. He’s the most underrated catcher. He’s never got the recognition he deserves. But where can you find a catcher that can do all the things Simmons can do? He hits better than any of them, and he calls a great game. And who else in the league can catch as many games as he does?” — Pittsburgh manager Chuck Tanner on St. Louis catcher Ted Simmons, 1978

Tagged Simba for his long locks, he often played hurt and always played hard. Only average defensively, Simmons wreaked havoc on pitchers. Seven times he batted above .300, six times reached 20 HR, and eight times exceeded 90 RBI. He switch-hit home runs in a game three times and established the NL career record for home runs by a switch-hitter (182). Although not a threat to steal, Simmons also had enough speed to amass 483 career doubles.

Simmons had just turned 19 when he played his first games for the Cardinals. He was groomed to succeed in the extremely popular and talented Tim McCarver. After annihilating minor league pitching with power and average for three seasons, Simmons became the regular St. Louis catcher for eleven years. He went to the Brewers for 1981 after feuding with manager Whitey Herzog. Simmons helped the Brewers win the second-half AL East title in the strike-split season and hit a crucial two-run homer in Game Three of the division playoff as the Brewers staved off elimination. The following year Milwaukee went all the way to the World Series. As usual, Simmons hit for a poor average in the postseason, but he hit home runs in the first two games of the WS against his old team. His greatest clutch performance may have come in 1983, when he drove in 108 runs with only 13 HR. He closed out his career in 1986-88 as a member of the Braves’ utility men’s self-dubbed Bomb Squad, playing first base, catcher, and third base, and serving as a valuable pinch hitter. In October 1988, Simmons was named director of player development for St. Louis by GM Dal Maxvill, a former teammate.

Notable Events and Chronology for Ted Simmons Career