>>Oh, I forgot. Simmons did not play in either New York or Boston. Never
>Given the recent dismal HOF voting performance of members of New York
>championship teams--i.e. Carter, Hernandez, Randolph, Guidry, Munson,
>Nettles--I see no basis for the assertion, other than reflexive New York
>bashing, that New York players have a significant advantage in HOF voting.
Those are probably not good examples, since none of them legitimately
deserves to get in, and therefore cannot complain about their lack of
support. Keith Hernandez probably comes the closest among the players you
mentioned, and no way does he deserve enshrinement.
My point is that Simmons is the equal of Carter and Fisk offensively,
although Fisk had more power (perhaps attributable to playing in Fenway
rather than Busch Stadium). And yes, Gary Carter was superior defensively
to both Simmons and Fisk, but I doubt that matters all that much. Fisk was
no defensive wizard behind the dish, either, and was no more than an
average defensive catcher.
If Fisk goes in (and he will), and if Carter goes in (I don't think he
will), then Simmons should also. And no one can deny that playing for the
Red Sox or Yankees helps a player over the long haul, placing them on a
national stage and helping them develop the "aura" sometimes necessary for
>Simmons was a horrible defensive catcher. That's a serious strike
>for someone playing a key defensive position.
>And he was a good hitter for a catcher, but not a great hitter
>as hitters go. He never led the league in anything. The HOF adjusts
>for position, but less than they should.
As catchers go, Simmons ranks with the best as a hitter:
G. Carter .262/.338/.439
Y. Berra .285/.347/.482
AND he drove in 1389 runs (48th all time).
Defensively, he wasn't great, but he was not horrible, either, as you
assert. Maybe he was in his later years in Milwaukee, but during his prime
in St. Louis, he was an average defensive catcher, and by 1978 and 1979,
had improved to the point where he was probably a bit above average. His
throwing arm was his chief defensive liability.
Finally, Dave, I looked it up in Total Baseball, and (much to my surprise)
Ted actually did lead the league in a category once. Ironically, it was
fielding percentage, as he had a .995 FA with Milwaukee in 1982.
"We don't rent pigs. Uva Uvam Vivendo Varia Pit."
Captain Augustus McCrae