Friday, September 10, 2021

Top 5 Hall Of Fame: Ted Simmons

I continue with my Hall of Fame celebration with Veteran's Committee selection Ted Simmons. I don't have a lot of his cards, but I have enough to do a proper Top 5 list. Here are my 5 favorite Ted Simmons cards in my collection:

1977 Topps #470

My earliest card is also probably my favorite.  It's all about the gear and uniform. On his shoulder, you get a good look at the National League Centennial patch worn throughout the league. You see a great great pillbox style hat nestled in his catching mask. That mask and chest plate wouldn't do much against today's 100mph pitches, would they?

1978 Topps #380

Remember when Tim Raines' Hall candidacy was gaining traction, and it was repeated that he suffered because he played in the same era as the greatest leadoff hitter in baseball history? Raines had nothing on poor Ted Simmons. He played under the shadow of 3 of the greatest catchers ever - first Bench, then Fisk and Carter. No wonder he didn't get much love on the Hall ballot. Compared to these guys, he was often overlooked.

1981 Topps #705

I love cards where you can see all the action in the background.

1984 Topps #630 

I fully admit Ted Simmons was one of those players I didn't give much thought to when I was a kid collecting cards. By the mid-late 80's, he was on the down portion of his career. He was just another veteran who had a long career.

1988 Topps #791 

When he retired after the 1988 season, he was first among all catchers in hits (now surpassed only by Ivan Rodriguez) and second only to Yogi Berra in RBI. Not bad for a guy that got out-shined by the Bench/Fisk/Carter trio.

Welcome to the Hall of Fame, Mr. Simmons!


  1. I'm with you on not going out of my way to collect his cards as a kid... but I knew he was a great ballplayer. Back then one of the tools I used to measure a player's greatness was all-star appearances. And he played in the Midsummer Classic enough to capture my attention.

    That smile on his 1978 Topps card is infectious. I love it!

  2. I was in the same boat as you. Getting those late career cards just meant he had a good run to me.

  3. Having not been around during his prime, I don't understand why there couldn't be four really good catchers playing at the same time? It's like people could only handle three, and Ted became the odd man out.