Sunday, November 30, 2008

Simba for the Hall of Fame

Over on The Hardball Times the other day Geoff Young posted an article headlined, "Does Ted Simmons belong in the Hall of Fame?" As a long-time Cardinals rooter and big fan of "Simba" I say, "Hell, yes!" Young spends some 2,500 words and eight charts and still can't come up with an answer, concluding:

I'm not sure that Simmons belongs in the Hall of Fame. I'm not sure that he doesn't either. My instinct tells me that if [Gary] Carter belongs, then so probably does Simmons. It's not a strong instinct, though, and I'd be receptive to hearing further arguments from either side. What I am certain about, however, is that Simmons is an eminently worthy candidate who deserved far more serious consideration than he ever received.

Ted SimmonsThat last line is the amazing one to me. Simmons ranks seventh all-time among catchers based on Win Shares, but got a measly 17 Hall of Fame votes in his one year of eligibility. Rusty Staub got more, for cryin' out loud! Maybe it was the hair....

Simmons also suffered greatly because his career overlapped that of Johnny Bench. Indeed, in my own Century League replay Simba had to play second fiddle to J.B., who did almost all of the catching while Simmons got 139 at-bats and hit .209.

I'd been thinking a bit of Simmons of late, as his name made some of the lists of potential new managers for the Mariners. He recently took a gig as bench coach for the Padres.

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