Ted Simmons
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Ted Simmons inducted in Hall of Fame

By Fabrice Pierre-Toussaint

Contributing Writer for Telegraph Local | See my LinkedIn

On December 8, 2019, Ted Simmons, a switch hitter was elected to the MLB Hall of Fame. Simmons was a catcher for St.Louis Cardinals from 1968 to 1980. For the Milwaukee Brewers from 1981 to 1985 and the Atlanta Braves from 1986 to 1988. He is considered one of the best hitting catchers in Major League Baseball history. By the time he retired, Simmons led all catchers in career hits with 2,472, doubles and ranked second in RBIs with 1,389 behind Yogi Berra and second in total bases behind Carlton Fisk. He retired with the National League record for home runs by a switch-hitter despite playing for many years in the American League. Simmons did hit .300 seven different times, hit 20 home runs six times, and caught 122 shutouts, eighth-most all-time. His last MLB appearance was for the Atlanta Braves. 

In the year 1992, Simmons was hired as general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates.In Spring training ‘92 Simmons had agreed to trade left fielder Barry Bonds to the Braves, but backed out when Pirates manager at the time, Jim Leyland threatened to quit. He served in the general manager position for a year, retiring after having a heart attack in 1993. He was also the Director of Player Development for both the Cardinals and San Diego Padres and a scout at the Major League level for the Cleveland Indians. He was named bench coach for the Brewers in the 2008 season. On September 15, 2008, he was assigned to another position within the league. In November 2008, Simmons was named bench coach for the Padres under manager Bud Black,replacing Craig Colber. He was hired on November 5, 2010 as senior advisor to general manager Jack Zduriencik of the Seattle Mariners. Simmons rejoined the Braves in October 2015, as a scout. 

Simmons first became eligible for election to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1994, but received less than 5% of the vote on the first ballot, becoming ineligible for future elections. In December 2017, he missed being elected to the Hall of Fame via the Veterans Committee by one vote, but was elected in December 2019 at the age of 70. “This is a great, great day in my life,” Simmons said. “It makes for a good long day, and a difficult day at times. But when I finally got the call, it was real special.” according to ESPN. The last metrics to observe from him deserving the induction are hitting 248 home runs,  ranking him seventh among that group. Simmons hit .285 for his career, tied for seventh, was walked 855 times, ranking fourth. Simmons scored 1,074 runs,ranking fifth. Although he was not known as a home run hitter, in addition to the 248 regular-season home runs, he homered three times in the postseason, including in back-to-back World Series games in 1982. Simmons is one of just six catchers to homer in two straight World Series games, and three of the four to do it before him are in the Hall of Fame. according to MLB

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