Ted Simmons needed 12 votes to be inducted and he got 11. He played fewer seasons than Carlton Fisk and had more RBI and was a better hitter. He didn’t have the power and Fisk was better behind the plate but Simmons has a place in baseball history.
The eight-time All-Star had a lot of competition back in his day. Two of his nominations were in the American League and in 1983, when he was voted in as a catcher, he was 33. Many remember his three bad seasons in Atlanta to finish out his career. Does anybody remember how Steve Carlton ended his career? That conversation is irrelevant.
He had three 100-RBI seasons and 4 others in the ’90s. If he were playing today he’d be a bigger star. Instead, he fell behind Johnny Bench, Carlton Fisk and Gary Carter. He has more RBI than Carter, Bench, and Piazza as well. Not suggesting he’s better, he wasn’t, just pointing out a fact. He did win a Silver Slugger in 1980 as well.
His .285 career batting average places him in the top 20 in the history of the sport at his position. He had the second-most doubles (483, 82nd all-time ahead of Brooks Robinson and Reggie Jackson), third-most total bases. His teams not winning a championship should not be held against him. He did play in the World Series in 1982 with the Milwaukee Brewers. He did hit a few home runs and he was the cleanup hitter.
“Simba” had a career on-base percentage of .348! He’s tied with David Ortiz for 102nd on the all-time hits list. There are quite a few Hall of Fame players sitting behind him on that list as well. He caught 1,771 games. That takes a toll on a player. He’s 15th on that list just ahead of Johnny Bench.
One last statistic. It was very important in his era. He never struck out 100 times. The most he ever struck out was 57 times. Once in every 12.51 at-bats.
The negatives are he didn’t throw out a ton of runners and he did make some errors. If he doesn’t get in Jorge Posada should never get in as well to use a modern-day example.
His numbers are nestled in with a lot of Hall of Fame players. He played in an era where the catcher had to hit and he was one of the best of his era. Somehow some voters felt differently but I don’t see how or why.