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

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


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/ 


The Cards-Cubs rivalry exhibit at the Abraham Lincoln Museum – very interesting!

Our family has wanted to visit the Cubs vs. Cardinals – The Rivalry exhibit at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum all season but we finally found the time this weekend.  We had planned our trip for yesterday, but a lady we went to church with passed away last week and her funeral was yesterday.  The irony of visiting this exhibit on the last day of the Cardinals’ 2017 season with the Cubs going on to the playoffs and the Cardinals going home was not lost on me.

This was not our first trip to the ALPM, but we hadn’t been to the museum in several years.  We went to the desk to purchase our tickets and paid the extra $3/ticket so we could visit the “Lincoln: From History to Hollywood” exhibit with props, costumes, and sets from the Steven Spielberg Lincoln movie.

The Cubs-Cards exhibit room was the second room on the left as we entered the museum.  There were two boxes on either side of the doorway to the room, one for Cardinals fans and one for Cubs fans.  You were to put money in the boxes to vote for your favorite team.  The money will go to the museum to continue its preservation work.  Here’s a photo of the Cards version of Abe, which appeared to have more money in the box that the Cubs’ box:  

We got to the museum around 9:30 AM, so we were the only ones in the exhibit.  There was a docent sitting by the door and we chatted for a moment.  I told her about this blog and that I was visiting today for the express purpose for writing about the exhibit.  I gave her one of my cards with the URL of this blog on it.  We then started looking at all of the exhibits.

The first thing you was as you walked into the exhibit is shown above. All around the room was a timeline from when each team was founded to the present day.  There were various trivia tidbits about both teams on the timeline, marked by a green home plate.  Did you know the Cubs once tried to use live bear cubs as a mascot?  It didn’t work out very well.

I will post photos and descriptions of some of the exhibits.  (If I posted photos and descriptions, you wouldn’t have to go see it in person!) The above photo is an interesting exhibit. in 1908, Mordecai Brown (a/k/a “Three Fingers”) had a watch fob made of his World Series and LCS pendants.

This is Grover Cleveland Alexander’s 1926 World Series ring, on loan from the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum.

There were 4 small trivia screens located throughout the exhibit where you could test your knowledge of Cardinals and/or Cubs trivia.  I am proud to report that I only got one Cardinals trivia question wrong.

This is a lovely quilt with the names of the players of the 1928 Cardinals embroidered on it.  That’s my hubby on the right.

There was an exhibit of the women who once were in the front office of the Cardinals and the Cubs.   The Cardinals’ representative on this exhibit was Helene Robison Britton, who I covered in a blog post here.

Here is the ball from Stan Musial’s 3000th hit, on loan from the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum.

Here is Marty Marion’s 1948 National League Most Valuable Player plaque.

And here is Bob Gibson’s 1968 Cy Young Award.

Cardinals fans who were alive in the 1970s should remember this well:  it’s the stolen base from when Lou Brock broke the stolen base record in 1974.

There was an exhibit where you could write your favorite baseball memories on a Post-It note and stick it on the exhibit.

Here is an exhibit about Cardinals broadcasters.

No Cards-Cubs exhibit would be complete without an exhibit on the home run chase that took place in 1998.

Here’s Yadier Molina’s catcher’s mask from 2006.

How many of these players/coaches do you remember from the 2011 World Series Champions?  How many are still with the team?

This was the last exhibit you saw before you exited the exhibit room.  We’re awfully glad you’re a Cardinal too, Mr. Schoendiest.

I wrote a blog post about the history of the Cards-Cubs rivalry and you can read it here.  We were eating lunch at the Subway inside the museum and the docent from the exhibit approached us.  She asked how we liked the exhibit and we told her we enjoyed it very much.  She encouraged me to put the business card with this blog’s URL on the baseball memories board, so I did that before we left.  If you’re here because you saw that card, welcome to the blog. I’m glad you’re here!

This wonderful exhibit (which ends on December 31, 2017), however, is not the only reason you should visit the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum.  This museum is well worth the price of admission.  There are detailed exhibits and artifacts about Lincoln’s life and his time in the Oval Office.  The wax figures are extremely lifelike.  There are two great movies to watch as well.  There is a Subway restaurant inside the museum, so you won’t even have to leave to eat lunch, although, with the wristbands, you can and come back later.

You could even make a weekend of visiting the many Lincoln exhibits in around Springfield.  For more details on all of the Lincoln exhibits, visit the Springfield tourism website.  Fron St. Louis, cross into Illinois on the Poplar Street Bridge or the Martin Luther King, Jr. Bridge and take Highway 55 north towards Chicago. You will exit Hwy. 55 at Sixth Street.  Just follow the signs to the Museum.  There is a pay parking garage cattycorner from the museum.

Thanks as always for reading! See you next time!


Exciting new exhibit “Women in Baseball” at Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum

The Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum is debuting a new exhibit this Friday night. It’s called “Women in Baseball: How They Made History,” and we lady Cardinals fans are sure to enjoy it. The photo of the left is of Helene Hathaway Robison Britton, the first woman team owner.  If you missed my blog post about Helene, you can read it here.  There will be a special event this Friday night at the Cardinals Nation restaurant to kick off the new exhibit called (of course) “Ladies’ Night” from 6 PM to 9 PM. How did the Cardinals know that Friday is my birthday? How lovely of them to not only open a new exhibit about women in baseball but throw a party on my birthday as well. 🙂 I will be at Cardinals Nation Friday evening at Ladies’ Night, of course, and I hope some of my readers will be there too. I’d love to meet you, so if you see me, stop by and say hello. Here are more details about the new exhibit and Ladies’ Night:

“Women in Baseball: How They Made History” Opens on November 18 and Runs through the 2017 Season
Cardinals Nation Restaurant to Host Ladies Night Event with Free After-Hours Admission & Special Guests

ST. LOUIS, Mo., November 15, 2016 – The St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum will open its new special exhibit entitled “Women in Baseball: How They Made History” on Friday, November 18. The exhibit, which replaces last year’s special exhibition “Farming the Business of Cardinals Baseball”, examines women’s involvement and contributions to St. Louis baseball and the game at large.

“The artifacts we have gathered for this special exhibit are some of the most unique and oldest items from our own collection, but also include important artifacts and images on loan from the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the Missouri Historical Society and various individuals,” said Paula Homan, Cardinals Museum Curator. “It really enables us to tell the stories of the barrier-breaking women who have influenced this organization, and all of baseball, in a fitting way.”

“Women in Baseball” features over 100 artifacts which tell stories about Major League Baseball’s first female owner, the origins of the iconic birds on the bat logo, local women from the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League and more. Exhibit highlights include a “Ladies’ Gala Day” giveaway from 1885, the oldest stadium giveaway in the Cardinals Museum collection; Allie May Schmidt’s original hand-painted cardinal birds, which were the inspiration behind the club’s logo; the ladies’ day entrance sign from 1950 used to welcome patrons of Ladies’ Day through a dedicated gate at Sportsman’s Park; and a hands-on interactive that shows the changing circumference of the baseballs used by the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League players from 1943-1954.

Additionally, Cardinals Nation Restaurant & Bar will host “Ladies Night at Cardinals Nation” to celebrate the opening of the new exhibit from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on November 18. Open to all fans, the event will feature free after-hours museum admission, food and drink specials, a live DJ and appearances by Homan and MLB.com Cardinals beat writer, Jenifer Langosch.

The Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. during the offseason. The special exhibit is open to the public through the conclusion of the 2017 baseball season and is included with admission to the museum. To purchase Cardinals Museum tickets or learn more about museum membership, visit cardinals.com/museum.

As always, thanks for reading! See you next time!