With voting continuing in the St. Louis Cardinals 2014 Hall of Fame class, it’s the perfect time to take a look at one of the nominees: Ted Simmons.
He was a Cardinal from 1968 to 1980, making his major league debut at age 19. He was a six-time All-Star in his Cardinals days and started at catcher for the National League in 1978 — which you can see a clip of below.
In 1975, Simmons set the National League record for hits by a catcher with 188. He posted six seasons of 20 or more home runs and 10 consecutive seasons from 1971-80 with 75 or more RBI. His 172 home runs rank ninth and 929 RBI are seventh all-time in Cardinals franchise history.
Oh, and he inspired the name of a fantastic Cardinals history blog, RetroSimba. (If you don’t regularly read Mark Tomasik’s work, you should — you will learn much.)
Starting today, you’ll have your chance to decide which two players from eight nominees will be inducted into the new St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame in August. Fan voting runs through April 22 at cardinals.com/HOF.
The nominees are Jim Edmonds, Bob Forsch, Keith Hernandez, Willie McGee, Mark McGwire, Matt Morris, Ted Simmons and Joe Torre.
“Induction into the Cardinals Hall of Fame is one of the highest honors the team can bestow,” Bill DeWitt Jr., Cardinals chairman and CEO, said. “We think it is appropriate to have the best, most knowledgeable fans in the game of baseball choose the two Cardinals players who will be part of this first elected class.”
The St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame was established as a way to recognize the exceptional careers and significant achievements of the greatest players in Cardinals history. To be eligible, players must have played for the Cardinals for at least three seasons and must be retired as a player from Major League Baseball for at least three years. The eligible pool of players is divided into two categories, modern players and veteran players. If a player retired more than 40 years prior to the induction year, he is classified as a veteran player.
Following is a description of each nominee’s career as a Cardinal.
Friday at last, of a seemingly very long week — guess the polar vortex and snow will do that. And, with just over a month until Cardinals pitchers and catchers report to Jupiter on Feb. 12, baseball still seems far away.
Not that there hasn’t been baseball in the news this week, with the results of the Hall of Fame voting revealed on Wednesday (and all the moralizing and lecturing and pomposity from too many of those who voted spewing out both before and after). Ahead of that, though, Graham Womack at Baseball Past and Present on Monday unveiled his fourth edition of the 50 best baseball players not in the Hall of Fame. It’s a long and great read, well worth the time for the information on each player (although three listed now are Hall of Famers — congratulations to Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas). There are several Cardinals on the list, including Ted Simmons at No. 26, Joe Torre at No. 34 (as a player, since he’ll be inducted as a manager in July) and Ken Boyer at No. 40 (and I was privileged to write about him for the project).
Speaking of Simmons, if you haven’t read The Sin of Being Second to the Best Ever by Derrick Goold yet, read it now.
Also, check out Legendary Cardinals Instructor George Kissell Deserves a Spot in the Hall of Fame from Stan McNeal at Fox Sports Midwest. Definitely would be a deserving honor for a man who did have, still has and will continue to have such an impact on the Cardinals and all those who have played for the team.