Will Clark deserves place in Cooperstown
That number in parentheses? That's the highest percentage of Hall of Fame votes Simmons garnered; it takes 75 percent for election. Simmons got 17 votes (3.74 percent of the electorate) in 1994, his first year of eligibility and also his last, as he fell off the ballot for lack of support. But just for a moment, wipe the name "Ted Simmons" from your mind and let me describe a nameless player: "decent defensive catcher, eight-time All-Star with 2,472 career hits, No. 1 among players who spent most of their careers behind the plate." Sound like a Hall of Famer to you? I haven't even mentioned nameless player's power; his 778 extra-base hits rank behind only Carlton Fisk among catchers.
As I suspect you've suspected, this player does have a name, and it's Ted Simmons. Oh, I know people think Simmons was an awful catcher, but for the first half of his career, he was decent enough. He wasn't Johnny Bench (nobody was), and people probably held that against him. And Simmons' career didn't end on a happy note; he spent his last five seasons as a weak-hitting DH/PH type, and people probably held that against him, too. But Simmons was a great player, and all the Hall of Fame voters in North America won't convince me otherwise.
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