Dec 2, 2009
non-HOF Profile Derby #1: Ted Simmons
First,a player from the modern era....Ted Simmons
Career Overview: Ted "Simba" Simmons was principally a power-hitting catcher from 1968-1983, then became a DH/1B for the remainder of his career ending in 1988. His reputation in his prime (I'm guessing) was a middle of the order run producer who did not excel at defense.
There was a 10 year stretch (1971-1980) where Ted Simmons could probably be considered anywhere from the 1st-5th best catcher in the game for a given season (Bench, Carter, Fisk, Munson, Torre were his prinicipal contemporaries). He was an 8 time all-star and a one-time silver slugger winner. He did not lead the league in any major categories, but interestingly led the league twice in intentional walks (1976 and 1977).
The Numbers: Statistically, his offensive numbers and career path mirror most closely to a mixture of Ivan Rodriguez, Gary Carter, and Joe Torre. His most similar batters that were catchers in his career were Torre, Fisk, and Carter. He caught 1771 games as a catcher with a .285 AVG, 248 HR, and 1389 RBI. He also sported (is this verb used in any other context?) a 117 OPS+ for his career and 855/694 BB/K ratio.
Why Should He Be Remembered: He was a HOF talent who had to be compared to the incomparable Bench. He was one of the few bright spots on the 1970s Cardinals. Catchers don't always get a fair shake in the baseball collective memory.
Rookie Card: 1971 Topps #117
Other Key Cards: Still searching for modern-day relics and autos. Anyone know?
HOF Balloting Performance: Was on the ballot one year in 1994, received 15 votes (less than the 5% threshold) and dropped from the ballot. Will possibly be eligible for the Veteran's Committee ballot in 2011.