A follow up heartfelt letter to the Modern Baseball Era Committee re: Ted Simmons

WOMEN WHO LOVE CARDINALS BASEBALL
mlblogswomenwholovecardinalsbaseball.wordpress.com
Diane Schultz, Founder

November 30, 2017

Modern Baseball Era Committee
National Baseball Hall of Fame
Cooperstown, NY

Re:    Ted Lyle SimmonsSimba1
Position:  Catcher
Teams:    St. Louis Cardinals, 1968-1980
Milwaukee Brewers, 1981-1985
Atlanta Braves, 1986-1988

Dear Committee Members:

This letter is a follow up to my November 4, 2017 letter which discussed the above referenced former baseball player, along with my request that he be added to the Modern Baseball Era Hall of Fame ballot.  I was overjoyed when I heard the news that the committee did indeed select Mr. Simmons as a candidate on the Modern Baseball Era ballot.  I am very grateful that you responded favorably to my request.

Now that Mr. Simmons is on the Modern Baseball Era ballot, I would like to again remind the committee of Mr. Simmons’ stellar statistics that should ensure him a place with the Hall of Fame immortals.  From Wikipedia’s entry on Mr. Simmons:

Career Statistics

In a twenty-one-year major league career, Simmons played in 2,456 games, accumulating 2,472 hits in 8,680 at bats for a .285 career batting average along with 248 home runs, 1,389 runs batted in and a .348 on-base percentage. He ended his career with a .986 fielding percentage.  An eight-time All-Star, he batted above .300 seven times, reached 20 home runs six times, and eight times exceeded 90 runs batted in. He switch-hit home runs in a game three times and established a since-broken National League career record for home runs by a switch-hitter (182). Simmons held major league records for catchers with 2,472 career hits and 483 doubles, since broken by Iván Rodriguez.  He ranks second all-time among catchers with 1,389 runs batted in and 10th with 248 home runs. He caught 122 shutouts in his career, ranking him eighth all-time among major league catchers. In his book The Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, baseball historian Bill James ranked Simmons 10th all-time among major league catchers.

Highlights

  • 8-time All-Star (1972–74, 1977–79, 1981, 1983)
  • Silver Slugger Award (1980)
  • 7-times hit .300 or more (1971–73, 1975, 1977, 1980, 1983)
  • Caught two no-hitters as a Cardinal: Bob Gibson in 1971, and the first of Bob Forsch’s two career no-hitters, in 1978.
  • Twice led the National League in intentional walks (1976–77). He ranks 15th in the All-Time list with 188.

As mentioned in my last correspondence, numbers and statistics do not lie. In the postscript below, I have posted links to two articles that further explain why Mr. Simmons should be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, should my arguments be insufficient.

I would also like to bring to the Committee’s attention that at age 68, Mr. Simmons is one of the oldest candidates on the Modern Baseball Era ballot.  The next Modern Baseball Era ballot will not be compiled until 2022, if my calculations are correct.  Please elect Mr. Simmons to the Hall of Fame while he is still alive to enjoy the induction ceremony.  The air will be electric with the chants of “Simba! Simba!” as he steps up to the podium for his acceptance speech, which will be heartfelt and entertaining, if Mr. Simmons’ speech at his Cardinals Hall of Fame induction is any indication.

Thank you once again for your consideration of Mr. Simmons’ Hall of Fame candidacy. I look forward to hearing the most excellent news of Mr. Simmons’ election to the Baseball Hall of Fame. It would be a wonderful early Christmas present. (And if Mr. Simmons is elected, I will be trying to figure out how to pay for my trip to the induction ceremony, for I wouldn’t want to miss seeing it in person.) Please accept my best wishes for a joyous holiday season and a happy and healthy new year!

Very truly yours,

Diane M. Schultz

Bibliography:
Wikipedia, “Ted Simmons,” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Simmons

Postscript:
Why Simmons belongs in the Hall of Fame,” Benjamin Hochman, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/benjamin-hochman/why-ted-simmons-belongs-in-the-hall-of-fame/collection_a7e7c0c2-e55c-5355-9a84-24674f6dc189.html

Cardinals great Ted Simmons is on the Hall of Fame ballot,” Craig Edwards, Viva El Birdos, https://www.vivaelbirdos.com/st-louis-cardinals-sabermetrics-analysis/2017/11/18/16671776/cardinals-ted-simmons-hall-of-fame-ballot-candidacy

A heartfelt letter to the Modern Baseball Era Committee re: Ted Simmons

WOMEN WHO LOVE CARDINALS BASEBALL
mlblogswomenwholovecardinalsbaseball.wordpress.com
Diane Schultz, Founder

November 4, 2017

Modern Baseball Era Committee
National Baseball Hall of Fame
Cooperstown, NY

 Re:    Ted Lyle SimmonsSimba1
Position:   Catcher
Teams:    St. Louis Cardinals, 1968-1980
Milwaukee Brewers, 1981-1985
Atlanta Braves, 1986-1988

Dear Committee Members:

I am writing to you in reference to Ted Simmons, one of the best catchers ever.  It is my understanding that you are going to announce the 10 person Modern Baseball Era ballot on Monday, November 6.  I hope and pray that I am not too late to argue my case that Ted Simmons belongs on the Modern Baseball Era ballot.

My fellow blogger Mark Tomasek of Retrosimba.org has assembled the statistics that show that Mr. Simmons deserves to become an immortal in the Baseball Hall of Fame and I quote them here:

Simmons ranks second all-time among players whose primary position was catcher in each of three significant hitting categories: hits (2,472), RBI (1,389) and doubles (483). He trails only Yogi Berra (1,430) in RBI. Ivan Rodriguez leads in hits (2,844) and doubles (572).

He was named to the all-star team eight times, six as a Cardinal.

Simmons had 90 or more RBI in a season eight times, six as a Cardinal.

A durable, tough athlete who toiled most of his summers in St. Louis’ searing heat, Simmons played in 150 or more games in seven consecutive seasons (1972-78).

Simmons had a slugging percentage of .500 or better three seasons in a row (1977-80). That is remarkably consistent high-level production. Neither Johnny Bench nor Yogi Berra nor Carlton Fisk, for example, achieved .500 or better slugging percentages three straight years.

He ranks third in career total bases (3,793) by a player whose primary position was catcher. Only Ivan Rodriguez (4,451) and Carlton Fisk (3,999) have more.

In 1975, Simmons established the National League single-season record for most hits by a catcher. He hit .332 that year and 188 of his 193 hits came while in the lineup as a catcher.

He holds most of the Cardinals career and single-season hitting records for a catcher. In a franchise rich with success (11 World Series titles) and notable catchers (Roger Bresnahan, Walker Cooper, Tim McCarver, Darrell Porter, Tony Pena and Yadier Molina), Simmons is the best hitter of the bunch.

While he wasn’t a great defensive catcher, he was much better than generally recognized. He twice (1972 and ’78) led NL catchers in assists, and twice (1976 and ’78) led NL catchers in number of runners caught attempting to steal.

Numbers and statistics do not lie.  Mr. Simmons has the bona fides to be elected to the Hall of Fame.  Indeed, Mr. Simmons’ election to the Hall of Fame is long overdue.

Mr. Simmons was inducted into the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame in 2015, and I was in attendance to see my childhood favorite ballplayer be inducted. (And being the emotional woman that I am, I cried like a baby.)  Simba’s mane has grown silver over the years (and cut shorter), but he was as well-spoken as ever.  On behalf of myself and Cardinals/Brewers/Braves fans everywhere, my request is that you place Mr. Simmons on the Modern Baseball Era 2017 ballot.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.  I look forward to the news of Mr. Simmons’ addition to the Modern Baseball Era ballot, and Mr. Simmons’ subsequent election to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Very truly yours,

Diane M. Schultz

DMS

Bibliography:  “10 reasons why Ted Simmons is a Hall of Famer,” https://retrosimba.com/2010/11/15/10-reasons-why-simmons-is-a-hall-of-famer/