Wow three of the last four players have been catchers. I sure didn’t plan it that way. These three catchers just happened to get real close scores. They were so close I debated whether I should move Hartnett and Simmons past Torre. However, I decided to minimize the players passing each other.
To continue catchers bonus points. Torre received 55 points, Harnett 117 and Simmons received 92 points. Simmons didn’t have a real good reputation for catching but played over 70 percent of his games at catcher. Remember both Simmons and Torre hit enough to play other positions when they weren’t catching.
Simmons was 18 years old when he came up to St. Louis and caught his first game. He platooned with Torre at age 20, actually doing nearly all the catching at the end of the season. He was the Cardinals regular catcher at age 21. He .300 that season and was an above average hitter according to Ops. Simmons was a good hitter for average with some good walk seasons. So, he did a solid job of getting on base. He wasn’t a great power hitter but hit 20 homeruns a few seasons and once hit 40 doubles. Basically, he wasn’t a Punch and Judy hitter. That means he wasn’t just a singles hitter.
Ted Simmons played 13 years with the Cardinals and had never played in the post season. He was traded to the Brewers who despite some struggles made it to the post season Simmon’s first two years. In his second year with the team the Brewers made it to the World Series and guess who they played. Simmon’s old team the Cardinals. In the fifth inning of the first game with the Brewers already ahead 3-0 Simmon’s homered against his former team helping his team to an easy victory.
The next day in game two Simmons came up in the top of the third and hit a homerun to stretch the Brewers lead to 3-0. He had now hit 2 homeruns in the World Series at his former stadium where the fans still loved him. It would be the high point of the series for Simmons. The Brewers lost game 2. Even though the Cardinals and Brewers would battle back in forth in the last five games of the series, Simmons would only contribute one single batting for those five games. The Brewers lost an exciting series in seven. What had been a great start ended in disappointment.
Even though Simmons had a good year in 1983 the Brewers faded and didn’t make the post season. Then at age 34 age and catching so much started to catch up with him. He wasn’t the same player he was in the last 5 years of his career he was earlier. He could still hit some, but didn’t catch much those 5 years.