November 6, 2017 at 5:58 pm #37337
Modern Era ballot includes: Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Don Mattingly, Marvin Miller, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Ted Simmons, Luis Tiant and Alan Trammell. Vote is Dec. 10.
I don’t have votes, but if I did, Miller and Simmons would be on top.November 6, 2017 at 6:33 pm #37348
Simmons was one of the best hitting catchers of his era and average defensively.Overshadowed by playing the same time as Johnny Bench Simba was still worthy of HOF serious consideration.If Simba played in NY,LA,Boston or Chicago he would already be in HOF.Simba and Kenny Boyer both have been overlooked by voters who are fooled by big headlines and self promotion(Santo).Simmons was as good as Gary Carter and Boyer was as good as or better than Santo.
November 7, 2017 at 10:14 am #37389
- This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by Brian Walton.
Teddy is still the Cardinals all-time greatest catcher, with Yadi making inroads to that claim but he’s not there yet. Yadi will have to play at a very high level in his remaining years to over take Ted, which is not likely.
One of Ted’s “problems” of course, is that Bench set the bar so high for catchers in the ’70s that everyone else pales in comparison. He was always the “second best” catcher in the National League. Carlton Fisk and Thurman Munson were the two guys in the AL at the time. They both played in better media markets, and all three (Bench, Fisk, and Munson) played in World Series games.
Both Fisk and Munson were as good as Simmons, maybe a bit better, so that puts Teddy at around the 3rd to 4th best catcher during his time. Of course the best was the best ever, but it is still hard to get over that group and justify Ted in the Hall. But man the guy could hit. I remember going to some Cardinal games as a teenager and young adult when Simmons was in his prime, and he would hit the ball so consistently hard. For awhile I worked with a guy who grew up with Simmons in Michigan. He told me there was this vacant lot where they would play as kids, and Simmons was the only kid who could hit the ball out of the lot both right-handed and left-handed.
Ken Boyer is not on the list, but I believe he does deserve enshrinement. He was the best third baseman in baseball from 1960-’64, although Brooks was better in ’64. Mathews preceeded him, and Brooks Robinson and Santo succeeded him as best, all Hall of Famers.
Marvin Miller easily deserves enshrinement. His impact on the game will be felt for the rest of time.
November 7, 2017 at 10:39 am #37399
- This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by bicyclemike.
Interesting question, BikeMike. How do you compare a defense-first catcher (Molina) to an offense-first one (Simmons)?November 7, 2017 at 8:43 pm #37458
I base it on WAR, which takes into account both phases of their games. Not a perfect way to compare of course. Molina has played in more big-time games than Teddy, with a lot of post season action. That probably weighs in his favor. Ted had a tough go with the Cardinals, as we made a slew of bad trades early in his career, and then he was traded when we got competitive again. Ironically, when he finally got to a World Series it was against the Cardinals.
Yadi also has some intangibles in the way he runs a game, and pitchers are better with him behind the plate than other Cardinal catchers.
Tough call. I can see either one being given the top spot. Take the best of both and they end up being Johnny Bench.November 10, 2017 at 4:25 pm #37619BlackHillsCardParticipantFree
Jay Jaffe wrote a summary article where he advocates for Simba’s induction:November 11, 2017 at 11:35 am #37642
Good article. Trammel certainly deserves enshrinement. I hope Simba gets in. As I mentioned, he suffers some from being in an era that had some great catchers. Plus Jaffe points out the Whitey Herzog slight, where near the end of Simmons career Herzog wanted him to play first base. He then traded him and brought in a more defense-oriented catcher in Darrell Porter. Jaffe does not bring up this point, but it just so happened that in the 1982 post season Porter outplayed Simmons and the Cardinals won the World Series over Simmons’ Brewers. That might be another thing going against him.
So there seems to be a lingering view in some voters’ minds that Simmons was good, but not great. He is definitely borderline, but better than some catchers in the Hall. You can make a case either way for him, but we all hope he gets the call.November 18, 2017 at 2:04 am #37988WileyParticipantFree
I’ve been on board with Simmons in the HOF for as long as I can remember. Compare him to the top catchers in the Hall like; Yogi Berra, Johnny Bench, Gary Carter, Mike Piazza, Ivan Rodriguez & Carlton Fisk. Sure his offense lacks the homer totals, but he played in a pitchers ballpark; batted cleanup and didn’t have much in the lineup to help him, unlike the others. Ted led all these sluggers in Intentional Walks at 188 which was 20th all-time in baseball. The closest was (steroid user?) Mike Piazza at 146. Only Johnny Bench(891) was walked more then the Cardinal superstar (855). That tells me that teams pitched around Simba a lot because they could. The rest of these guys performed in stacked lineups. In spite of that, only Yogi(1430) had more career RBI then Teddy(1389). Only Piazza had a higher career batting average and on-base percentage (.308/.377) then our boy (.285/.348). Only Ivan (another user?) had more hits & doubles (2844/572) to Ted’s (2472/483). Berra struck out only 404 times in his career, but wait, Simba only whiffed 694 times in spite of having the 3rd most AB’s. All the others were easily over 1000, except Carter who was 3 short. Only Ivan and Carlton had more career Total Bases then Ted. Yes Simmons is last in the sexy stat of Home Runs, which is why he led all of them in Sacrifice Flies (100). Simba is 3rd in triples. There are 18 catchers in the HOF and only 6 of them could be considered to have better offensive stats then Simmons. So it has to be the defense holding him out. It didn’t stop Mikey, who only threw out 23% of base stealers and had a career DWar of 1.0 or Carlton & Ivan who had more errors. I’ll admit Ted’s 182 passed balls would have had his pitchers wishing he made more of an effort and his fielding percentage was the worst of the lot, but not by much .987 to .991 of Carter and Rodriguez. Ted Simmons did play in 8 All-star games and that’s nothing to sneeze at. So to summarize, in spite of hitting in a lineup of marginal major leaguers, Simmons was extremely offensively effective, even though he was quite often pitched around in St.Louis. Of the lot, only Simmons was a switch-hitter and in my estimation and backed by the stats above, I believe Simba to be a HOFer at the toughest position on the field.November 18, 2017 at 10:48 am #37991
Well said Wiley.
Now if the voters would get their heads out of their butts and do the right thing then Simba would be in the HOF.November 18, 2017 at 1:25 pm #37994
Some great reference points, Wiley. I dug out my Bill James book to see where he has Simba. My book is from the ’80s, so it’s before Rodriguez and Piazza came along. At that time James had Simmons at 10th all time. His top three are Berra, Bench and Mickey Cochrane, who I think probably still hold those spots, with the order depending on personal opinion.
Ted’s stumbling blocks are his defense, and the fact that he played in a catcher-rich era. Three of the top 10 catchers on James’ list played in the same era as Teddy, Bench, Gary Carter and Carlton Fisk. Then you have Thurman Munson, who is #7 on James’ peak value list. And there was the infamous comment short-term manager Vern Rapp made when he called Simmons “a loser”. Rapp offended just about everybody in his 1-year-plus-a-few-games managerial stint, however. After he said that, he refused to go on Jack Buck’s pregame radio show, and Buck used the air time to disclose the dissension that existed on the Cardinal club. Rapp was fired soon after that.
James makes an interesting point in his brief summary on Simmons, stating he would probably have had 3000 hits had he not been a catcher. James said “…the decision to make him a catcher can be questioned”. He certainly had the build of a catcher. Not sure where else he would have played – maybe first base. Put Ted at first base and on the Yankees in the ’70s, and he would no doubt be a Hall of Famer right now.November 18, 2017 at 7:51 pm #37999WileyParticipantFree
Defense is certainly the sticking point, but you have to consider that Simmons and Brock were the heart of the Cardinal offense for all those years. He wasn’t in a stacked Yankee, Red Sox, Reds, Expos, Dodgers lineup. Can you imagine Simba in the Red Sox lineup of the 76′
1. Burleson – SS
2. Fred Lynn – CF
3. Jim Rice – DH
4. Yaz – LF
5. Simmons – C
6. Dwight Evans – RF
7. Cecil Cooper – 1b
8. Butch Hobson – 3b
9. Denny Doyle – 2b
I guarantee Ted would have lit up Fenway Park for 30+ dingers a year or how about the Reds?
1. Pete Rose – 3b
2. Joe Morgan – 2b
3. Tony Perez – 1b
4. George Foster – LF
5. Simmons – C
6. Ken Griffey – RF
7. Dave Concepcion – SS
8. Cesar Geronimo – CF
9. pitcherNovember 18, 2017 at 8:47 pm #38000
Definitely. In fact, had we kept Carlton and Reuss, not to mention Mike Torrez, and thereby most likely gone to the post season few times back then, that might have put Simmons in already.
Playing on mediocre clubs in the Midwest, he did not get much notoriety.December 4, 2017 at 3:23 pm #38710
From the Hall:
The 16-member Hall of Fame Board-appointed electorate charged with the review of the Modern Baseball Era features Hall of Fame members George Brett, Rod Carew, Bobby Cox, Dennis Eckersley, John Schuerholz, Don Sutton, Dave Winfield and Robin Yount; major league executives Sandy Alderson (Mets), Paul Beeston (Blue Jays), Bob Castellini (Reds), Bill DeWitt (Cardinals) and David Glass (Royals); and veteran media members/historians Bob Elliott, Steve Hirdt and Jayson Stark.
This group meets Sunday with their announcement scheduled for 6 p.m. EST.December 10, 2017 at 7:26 pm #39257
Simmons will have to wait at least two more years to try again. Reports are that he received 11 votes from the 16-person committee. He needed 75% or 12 to be elected.
Jack Morris (14) and Alan Trammell (13) both got in.
Marvin Miller only received seven votes. Clearly being blackballed, likely by management/ownership. Yet Bud Selig got 15/16 last time. Sickening.December 10, 2017 at 8:05 pm #39259
Damn.Maybe in 2 years.December 10, 2017 at 8:12 pm #39260
Wow, so close. I think Richie “Dick” Allen received 11 last time he was up for election as well.
Miller must not have gotten any votes from the media members/historians, as he is a no-brainer Hall of Famer in a non-playing capacity. I would think the 7 players voted for him, and most likely none of the executives. A gross oversight.December 11, 2017 at 12:03 am #39275
Miller passed away five years ago, so not wanting to honor him while alive is not a factor. Hopefully Simmons makes the Hall while he can enjoy the recognition. For Ron Santo, it came too late.December 11, 2017 at 9:19 am #39286
Saw all the former AL players on the voting committee.Stacked deck for Trammell and Morris.Simba shafted again.
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