Nov 2, 2011

1950 Phillies Auto Collection: Curt Simmons

The nomenclature isn't exactly true.  My collection for this admittedly extremely difficult pursuit now numbers.....three.   This is the first in chronological order.  This card is of the famed 1999 Sports Illustrated Greats of the Game on card auto set of all retired players.  The 1950 team is one of the greatest Phillies team that had one of the most thrilling endings to a season ever seen.  Throwing a runner out at the plate to send the game to extra innings in the last game of the season?  Are you kidding me?

Curt Simmons was a large part of that team, playing as a veteran 21 year old, solidifying the #2 spot in the rotation.  He was 17-8 that season with 11 CG in 27 starts with a 3.40 ERA and 1.23 WHIP.  He also tied Robin Roberts for the team lead in K with 148. 

I love this card because of the photo used.  I first saw the blue hats for day games in 1994; they were soon  discarded from use after two disastrous games and forever cursed as anti-karmic.  They made their return with a twist a in 2008.  Instead of keeping with the general pinstripe theme of the current Phillies uniform, a solid cream colored uniform was used with the same cap from this card.  This cap was in use during the 1948-1949 seasons, so Simmons was merely a teenager when this photo was taken.  He already had a starting pitcher's intensity and was ready to sink his teeth into his major league career.

He lasted 20 seasons in the majors, playing for the Phillies, Cardinals, Cubs, and finishing with the Angels in 1967.  He was a 3 time all-star and finished in the top 10 in the NL in ERA 9 times.  A long-time successful Phillies pitcher with a great script, what else is needed of a former Whiz Kid?

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