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Ted Simmons

Ted Simmons

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Ted Lyle Simmons is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 former professional
Professional baseball
Baseball is a team sport which is played by several professional leagues throughout the world. In these leagues, and associated farm teams, players are selected for their talents and are paid to play for a specific team or club system....

 baseball
Baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

 player and coach
Coach (baseball)
In baseball, a number of coaches assist in the smooth functioning of a team. They are assistants to the manager, or head coach, who determines the lineup and decides how to substitute players during the game...

. A switch-hitter, Simmons was a catcher
Catcher
Catcher is a position for a baseball or softball player. When a batter takes his turn to hit, the catcher crouches behind home plate, in front of the umpire, and receives the ball from the pitcher. This is a catcher's primary duty, but he is also called upon to master many other skills in order to...

 for most of his Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

 career with the St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals are a professional baseball team based in St. Louis, Missouri. They are members of the Central Division in the National League of Major League Baseball. The Cardinals have won eleven World Series championships, the most of any National League team, and second overall only to...

 (1968–80), the Milwaukee Brewers
Milwaukee Brewers
The Milwaukee Brewers are a professional baseball team based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, currently playing in the Central Division of Major League Baseball's National League...

 (1981–85) and the Atlanta Braves
Atlanta Braves
The Atlanta Braves are a professional baseball club based in Atlanta, Georgia. The Braves are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League. The Braves have played in Turner Field since 1997....

 (1986–88). Although he was often overshadowed by his contemporary, Johnny Bench
Johnny Bench
Johnny Lee Bench is a former professional baseball catcher who played in the Major Leagues for the Cincinnati Reds from 1967 to 1983 and is a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame...

, Simmons is considered one of the best hitting
Batting (baseball)
In baseball, batting is the act of facing the opposing pitcher and trying to produce offense for one's team. A batter or hitter is a person whose turn it is to face the pitcher...

 catchers in Major League baseball history. While he didn't possess Bench's power hitting ability, he hit for a higher batting average
Batting average
Batting average is a statistic in both cricket and baseball that measures the performance of cricket batsmen and baseball hitters. The two statistics are related in that baseball averages are directly descended from the concept of cricket averages.- Cricket :...

. A volatile competitor with an intense desire to win, Simmons once fought with team-mate John Denny
John Denny
John Allen Denny is a former right-handed Major League Baseball pitcher from 1974 to 1986 for the St. Louis Cardinals, Cleveland Indians, Philadelphia Phillies, and Cincinnati Reds. He won the Cy Young Award in 1983.-Career:Denny was born in Prescott, Arizona and attended Prescott High School...

 during a game at Busch Memorial Stadium
Busch Memorial Stadium
Busch Memorial Stadium, also known as Busch Stadium, was a multi-purpose sports facility in St. Louis, Missouri that operated from 1966 to 2005....

, in the runway between the club house and the dugout
Dugout (baseball)
In baseball, the dugout is a team's bench area and is located in foul territory between home plate and either first or third base. There are two dugouts, one for the home team and one for the visiting team. In general, the dugout is occupied by all players not prescribed to be on the field at that...

.

Baseball career


Simmons was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals as their first round pick in the 1967 Major League Baseball Draft
1967 Major League Baseball Draft
-First round selections:The following are the first round picks in the 1967 Major League Baseball draft.- Background :The June draft was filled with talented prospects who would go on to pro careers...

. He made his major league debut with the Cardinals, appearing in two games during the 1968
1968 St. Louis Cardinals season
The St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 87th season in St. Louis, Missouri and its 77th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 97-65 during the season, winning their second consecutive NL pennant, this time by nine games over the San Francisco Giants. They lost in 7 games to the...

 pennant-winning season, while playing most of the year in the minor leagues
Minor league baseball
Minor league baseball is a hierarchy of professional baseball leagues in the Americas that compete at levels below Major League Baseball and provide opportunities for player development. All of the minor leagues are operated as independent businesses...

. Simmons spent another year in Triple-A baseball before returning to the major leagues in 1970
1970 St. Louis Cardinals season
The St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 89th season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 79th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 76-86 during the season and finished fourth in the National League East, 13 games behind the Pittsburgh Pirates...

 where he platooned
Platoon system
The platoon system in baseball is a method of designating two players to a single defensive position—usually one right-handed and one left-handed. Typically the right-handed half of the platoon is played on days when the opposing pitcher is left-handed and the left-handed player is played otherwise...

 alongside catcher Joe Torre
Joe Torre
Joseph Paul Torre is a former American professional baseball player and manager who currently serves as Major League Baseball’s Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations. A nine-time All-Star, he played in Major League Baseball as a catcher, first baseman and a third baseman for the...

. In 1971
1971 St. Louis Cardinals season
The St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 90th season in St. Louis, Missouri and its 80th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 90-72 during the season and finished second in the National League East, seven games behind the eventual NL pennant and World Series champion Pittsburgh...

, the Cardinals converted Torre into a third baseman
Third baseman
A third baseman, abbreviated 3B, is the player in baseball whose responsibility is to defend the area nearest to third base — the third of four bases a baserunner must touch in succession to score a run...

 and Simmons took over as their starting catcher, posting a .304 batting average with 7 home run
Home run
In baseball, a home run is scored when the ball is hit in such a way that the batter is able to reach home safely in one play without any errors being committed by the defensive team in the process...

s and 77 runs batted in. He finished 16th in balloting for the National League
National League
The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, known simply as the National League , is the older of two leagues constituting Major League Baseball, and the world's oldest extant professional team sports league. Founded on February 2, 1876, to replace the National Association of Professional...

 Most Valuable Player Award as the Cardinals finished in second place behind the Pittsburgh Pirates
1971 Pittsburgh Pirates season
The Pittsburgh Pirates season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Pirates finishing first in the National League East with a record of 97 wins and 65 losses. They defeated the San Francisco Giants three games to one in the National League Championship Series and beat the Baltimore...

 in the National League Eastern Division.

Simmons refused to sign a contract for the amount of salary offered by the Cardinals in 1972
1972 St. Louis Cardinals season
The St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 91st season in St. Louis, Missouri and its 81st season in the National League. The Cardinals went 75-81 during the season and finished fourth in the National League East, 21½ games behind the Pittsburgh Pirates....

, electing to play without a contract. He ultimately signed a contract well into the season during which he was recognized as one of the top catchers in the league by earning a spot as a reserve on the National League All-Star
1972 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The 1972 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, the 43rd such game, was played on July 25, 1972. The all-stars from the American League and the National League faced each other at Atlanta Stadium, home of the Atlanta Braves...

 team. He finished the year with a .303 batting average with 16 home runs and 96 runs batted in, breaking Walker Cooper
Walker Cooper
William Walker Cooper was an American professional baseball player. He was a catcher in Major League Baseball who played for six National League teams from 1940 to 1957...

's team record for RBIs by a catcher and, set the team record for home runs by a catcher, previously held jointly by Gene Oliver
Gene Oliver
Eugene George Oliver was an American catcher and first baseman in Major League Baseball. From through , Oliver played for the St. Louis Cardinals , Milwaukee & Atlanta Braves , Philadelphia Phillies , Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs...

 and Tim McCarver
Tim McCarver
James Timothy "Tim" McCarver is an American former Major League Baseball catcher, and a current sportscaster in residence for Fox Sports.-Playing career:...

. His defense began to improve as well, posting a .991 fielding percentage
Fielding percentage
In baseball statistics, fielding percentage, also known as fielding average, is a measure that reflects the percentage of times a defensive player properly handles a batted or thrown ball...

 and leading National League catchers in assists
Assist (baseball)
In baseball, an assist is a defensive statistic, baseball being one of the few sports in which the defensive team controls the ball. An assist is awarded to every defensive player who fields or touches the ball prior to the recording of a putout, even if the contact was unintentional...

 and in putout
Putout
In baseball statistics, a putout is given to a defensive player who records an out by one of the following methods:* Tagging a runner with the ball when he is not touching a base...

s. Despite the Cardinals finishing the season in fourth place, Simmons would finish in 10th place in the National League Most Valuable Player Award balloting. Simmons continued to produce offensively in 1973
1973 St. Louis Cardinals season
The St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 92nd season in St. Louis, Missouri and its 82nd season in the National League. The Cardinals went 81-81 during the season and finished second in the National League East, a-game-and-a-half behind the NL East and eventual NL pennant winners New York...

 with a .310 batting average, along with 13 home runs and 91 runs batted in. He also led the league's catchers in putouts and finished second in assists, earning his second All-Star berth as the Cardinals again finished the season in second place.

In 1975
1975 St. Louis Cardinals season
The St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 94th season in St. Louis, Missouri and its 84th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 82-80 during the season and finished in a tie for third in the National League East, 10½ games behind the Pittsburgh Pirates.- Offseason :* October 14,...

, Simmons hit 18 home runs along with 100 runs batted and posted a career-high .332 batting average, finishing second in the National League batting championship behind Bill Madlock
Bill Madlock
Bill "Mad Dog" Madlock, Jr. is a former Major League Baseball player. From 1973 to 1987, Madlock was a right-handed hitter who won several National League batting titles. His record of four batting titles as a third baseman would be eclipsed in 1988 by Wade Boggs. Since 1970, only Tony Gwynn has...

. He also set a National League single-season record for most hits
Hit (baseball)
In baseball statistics, a hit , also called a base hit, is credited to a batter when the batter safely reaches first base after hitting the ball into fair territory, without the benefit of an error or a fielder's choice....

 by a catcher with 188. He finished in 6th place in the National League Most Valuable Player Award balloting as the Cardinals ended the season in fourth place. Simmons broke Johnny Bench's nine year stranglehold as the starting catcher for the National League All-Star team when he was elected to be the starting catcher for the National League in the All-Star Game
1978 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The 1978 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 49th midseason exhibition between the all-stars of the American League and the National League , the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was played on July 11, 1978 at San Diego Stadium in San Diego, California, home of the...

. He had another strong year in 1980
1980 St. Louis Cardinals season
The St. Louis Cardinals 1980 season was the team's 99th season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 89th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 74-88 during the season and finished fourth in the National League East, 17 games behind the eventual NL pennant and World Series champion...

, hitting .303 with 21 home runs and 98 runs batted in to win the inaugural Silver Slugger Award which is awarded annually to the best offensive
Batting (baseball)
In baseball, batting is the act of facing the opposing pitcher and trying to produce offense for one's team. A batter or hitter is a person whose turn it is to face the pitcher...

 player at each position
Baseball positions
There are 9 fielding positions in baseball. Each position conventionally has an associated number which is used to score putouts...

.

After feuding with Cardinals manager
Manager (baseball)
In baseball, the field manager is an individual who is responsible for matters of team strategy on the field and team leadership. Managers are typically assisted by between one and six assistant coaches, whose responsibilities are specialized...

 Whitey Herzog
Whitey Herzog
Dorrel Norman Elvert "Whitey" Herzog is a former Major League Baseball manager. Born in New Athens, Illinois, he made his debut as a player in 1956 with the Washington Senators. After his playing career ended in 1963, Herzog went on to perform a variety of roles in Major League Baseball, including...

, Simmons was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in December 1980
1980 St. Louis Cardinals season
The St. Louis Cardinals 1980 season was the team's 99th season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 89th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 74-88 during the season and finished fourth in the National League East, 17 games behind the eventual NL pennant and World Series champion...

. His batting averaged fell to .216 in his first season in the American League
American League
The American League of Professional Baseball Clubs, or simply the American League , is one of two leagues that make up Major League Baseball in the United States and Canada. It developed from the Western League, a minor league based in the Great Lakes states, which eventually aspired to major...

 but, he rebounded in 1982
1982 Milwaukee Brewers season
The 1982 Milwaukee Brewers season resulted in the team winning its first and only American League Championship.- Offseason :*October 23, 1981: Rickey Keeton was traded by the Brewers to the Houston Astros for Pete Ladd....

 with a .269 batting average with 23 home runs and 96 runs batted and led American League catchers with a .995 fielding percentage in 121 games. The Brewers clinched the American League Eastern Division
American League East
The American League Eastern Division is one of Major League Baseball's six divisions . This division was created before the start of the 1969 season along with the Western Division...

 title then, defeated the California Angels
1982 California Angels season
The California Angels 1982 season involved the Angels finishing 1st in the American League west with a record of 93 wins and 69 losses.- Offseason :* December 6, 1981: Bob Boone was purchased by the Angels from the Philadelphia Phillies....

 in the 1982 American League Championship Series
1982 American League Championship Series
-Game 1:Tuesday, October 5, 1982 at Anaheim Stadium in Anaheim, CaliforniaThe Angels jumped to a 1–0 lead in the first when Brian Downing scored an unearned run on a sacrifice fly by Don Baylor. Milwaukee came back to take a 3–1 lead with a two-run homer by Gorman Thomas in the second and a run...

. Simmons met his old team, the St. Louis Cardinals
1982 St. Louis Cardinals season
The St. Louis Cardinals' 1982 season was the team's 101st season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 91st season in the National League. Making up for the previous year's near-miss, the Cardinals went 92-70 during the season and won their first-ever National League East Division title by three games...

 in the 1982 World Series
1982 World Series
-Game 1:Tuesday, October 12, 1982 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, MissouriThe Brewers' left-hander Mike Caldwell pitched a complete game shutout, allowing only three hits. The Brewers' offense was led by Paul Molitor, who had a World Series-record five hits and two RBIs...

, hitting two home runs before the Brewers lost in a seven-game series. Simmons had one more good year in 1983
1983 Milwaukee Brewers season
The 1983 Milwaukee Brewers season involved the Brewers finishing 5th in the American League East with a record of 87 wins and 75 losses.- Offseason :* December 19, 1982: Ernie Camacho was signed as a free agent by the Brewers....

 when he hit for a .308 batting average with 13 home runs and 108 runs batted in and, earned his eighth and final All-Star berth. His batting average fell to a .221 in 1984
1984 Milwaukee Brewers season
The 1984 Milwaukee Brewers season involved the Brewers' finishing 7th in the American League East with a record of 67 wins and 94 losses.- Offseason :...

 and in March 1986
1986 Atlanta Braves season
The 1986 season was the 116th in franchise history and their 21st in Atlanta.-Offseason:* November 13, 1985: Randy Johnson was released by the Braves.* December 6, 1985: Miguel Sosa was traded by the Braves to the New York Yankees for Billy Sample....

 he was traded to the Atlanta Braves. He spent three seasons with the Braves as a utility player
Utility player
In sport, a utility player is one who can play several positions competently, a sort of jack of all trades. Sports in which the term is often used include association football , baseball, rugby, rugby league, water polo and softball....

 and pinch hitter
Pinch hitter
In baseball, a pinch hitter is a substitute batter. Batters can be substituted at any time while the ball is dead ; the manager may use any player that has not yet entered the game as a substitute...

 before retiring as a player in 1988
1988 Atlanta Braves season
-Offseason:* November 13, 1987: Ken Griffey, Sr. was signed as a free agent by the Braves.* December 6, 1987: Graig Nettles was signed as a free agent by the Braves.* March 24, 1988: Graig Nettles was purchased from the Braves by the Montreal Expos....

.

Career statistics


In a 21 year career, Simmons played in 2456 games
Games played
Games played is a statistic used in team sports to indicate the total number of games in which a player has participated ; the statistic is generally applied irrespective of whatever portion of the game is contested.-Baseball:In baseball, the statistic applies also to players who, prior to a game,...

, accumulating 2472 hits
Hit (baseball)
In baseball statistics, a hit , also called a base hit, is credited to a batter when the batter safely reaches first base after hitting the ball into fair territory, without the benefit of an error or a fielder's choice....

 in 8680 at bats for a .285 career batting average along with 248 home runs, 1389 runs batted in and a .348 on base percentage
On base percentage
In baseball statistics, on-base percentage is a measure of how often a batter reaches base for any reason other than a fielding error, fielder's choice, dropped/uncaught third strike, fielder's obstruction, or catcher's interference In baseball statistics, on-base percentage (OBP) (sometimes...

. 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
Double (baseball)
In baseball, a double is the act of a batter striking the pitched ball and safely reaching second base without being called out by the umpire, without the benefit of a fielder's misplay or another runner being put out on a fielder's choice....

, since broken by Iván Rodríguez
Iván Rodríguez
Iván Rodríguez Torres , nicknamed "Pudge" and "I-Rod", is a Major League Baseball catcher...

. 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.

Highlights

  • 8-time All-Star
    Major League Baseball All-Star Game
    The Major League Baseball All-Star Game, also known as the "Midsummer Classic", is an annual baseball game between players from the National League and the American League, currently selected by a combination of fans, players, coaches, and managers...

     (1972–74, 1977–79, 1981, 1983)
  • Silver Slugger Award
    Silver Slugger
    The Silver Slugger Award is awarded annually to the best offensive player at each position in both the American League and the National League, as determined by the coaches and managers of Major League Baseball...

     (1980)
  • 7-time hit .300 or more (1971–73, 1975, 1977, 1980, 1983)
  • Caught two no-hitter
    No-hitter
    A no-hitter is a baseball game in which one team has no hits. In Major League Baseball, the team must be without hits during the entire game, and the game must be at least nine innings. A pitcher who prevents the opposing team from achieving a hit is said to have "thrown a no-hitter"...

    s as a Cardinal: Bob Gibson
    Bob Gibson
    Robert "Bob" Gibson is a retired American professional baseball player. Nicknamed "Hoot" and "Gibby", he was a right-handed pitcher who played his entire 17-year Major League Baseball career with St. Louis Cardinals...

     in , the first of Bob Forsch
    Bob Forsch
    Robert Herbert Forsch was an American right-handed starting pitcher who spent most of his sixteen years in Major League Baseball with the St. Louis Cardinals before finishing his playing career with the Houston Astros...

    's two career no-hitters, in .
  • Twice led the National League
    National League
    The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, known simply as the National League , is the older of two leagues constituting Major League Baseball, and the world's oldest extant professional team sports league. Founded on February 2, 1876, to replace the National Association of Professional...

     in intentional walks
    Base on balls
    A base on balls is credited to a batter and against a pitcher in baseball statistics when a batter receives four pitches that the umpire calls balls. It is better known as a walk. The base on balls is defined in Section 2.00 of baseball's Official Rules, and further detail is given in 6.08...

     (1976–77). He ranks 15th in the All-Time list with 188.
  • He was featured several times in the commemorative DVD for the 1982 Milwaukee Brewers - Harvey's Wallbangers.

Baseball executive and coaching career


In , Simmons was hired as General Manager
General manager (baseball)
In Major League Baseball, the general manager of a team typically controls player transactions and bears the primary responsibility on behalf of the ballclub during contract discussions with players....

 of the Pittsburgh Pirates
1992 Pittsburgh Pirates season
The 1992 Pittsburgh Pirates season saw the Pirates finish first in the National League East with a record of 96 wins and 66 losses. It was the third consecutive division title for the team. The Pirates once again fell short in the postseason, losing a riveting seven-game National League...

. He served in that position for only a year, retiring after suffering a heart attack
Myocardial infarction
Myocardial infarction or acute myocardial infarction , commonly known as a heart attack, results from the interruption of blood supply to a part of the heart, causing heart cells to die...

 in June . He also was Director of Player Development for both the Cardinals and San Diego Padres
San Diego Padres
The San Diego Padres are a Major League Baseball team based in San Diego, California. They play in the National League Western Division. Founded in 1969, the Padres have won the National League Pennant twice, in 1984 and 1998, losing in the World Series both times...

, and a scout at the Major League level for the Cleveland Indians
Cleveland Indians
The Cleveland Indians are a professional baseball team based in Cleveland, Ohio. They are in the Central Division of Major League Baseball's American League. Since , they have played in Progressive Field. The team's spring training facility is in Goodyear, Arizona...

. He was named the bench coach for the Milwaukee Brewers starting with the 2008
2008 Milwaukee Brewers season
The 2008 Milwaukee Brewers season opened with optimism as the team attempted to build on the success of the 2007 season - their first winning season since 1992....

 season. On September 15, 2008, he was re-assigned to another position within the organization.

In November Simmons was named bench coach for the Padres under manager Bud Black
Bud Black
Harry Ralston "Bud" Black is a former Major League Baseball left-handed pitcher and current manager of the San Diego Padres.-College:Black played two years at Lower Columbia College in Longview...

, replacing Craig Colbert
Craig Colbert
Craig Charles Colbert is a former Major League Baseball catcher and former bench coach for the San Diego Padres....

. He was hired on November 5 as a Senior Advisor to General Manager Jack Zduriencik
Jack Zduriencik
John A. “Jack” Zduriencik is the General Manager of Major League Baseball's Seattle Mariners.-Career:Jack Zduriencik began his career in professional baseball as a second baseman in the Chicago White Sox farm system...

 of the Seattle Mariners
Seattle Mariners
The Seattle Mariners are a professional baseball team based in Seattle, Washington. Enfranchised in , the Mariners are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League. Safeco Field has been the Mariners' home ballpark since July...

.

See also


External links