Comparing catchers

Mike, our commissioner in the Illowa APBA League sent this out to our members and it generated a fair amount of discussion.

“Can you identify these catchers.  Which ones are in the Hall of Fame?”

Player     Avg      HR       RBI    Runs

# 1          .285     248     1389     1074

# 2          .262     324     1225     1025

# 3          .269     376     1330     1276

# 4          .308     427     1335     1048

Mike, is a Cardinals fan so he had an agenda behind this all.  Two are in the HOF, one is waiting, and the other, in Mike’s eyes, is unfairly being denied entry to the hallowed halls. 

Yeah, you guessed it, it’s former Cardinal Ted Simmons who is #1 on the above list.  The question of the day is Does Ted Simmons who also spent time with the Brewers and the Braves, belong in the Hall of Fame? 

By the way, the others listed are #2- Gary Carter, #3- Carlton Fisk, and #4- Mike Piazza. 

Per the Simmons question and comparing hitting only, he holds his own against the other three with the stats provided.  Yes, the dinger stats are down but the batting average and run production is comparable if not better. 

So why the hate on Mr Simmons? He has plenty of supporters.  Fungoes, a Cardinals blog with a SABR bent, puts Simmons second on their list of best Cardinals not in the Hall of Fame.  Our dear commissioner, dogmatic fan that he is,  would probably rank him over Bench. 

Well, there’s the defense issue.  Simmons had an reputation problem with the glove.  While reports say that earlier in his career he had trouble, in reality, he was an AVERAGE fielding catcher.  But in an age where every catcher was being compared to Johnny Bench and you’re the only decent alternative to him (read: backup in the All-Star game), people are going to look at your weaknesses. 

Maybe a question for time:  Mike Piazza- First ballot Hall of Famer?  Hall of Famer at all? 


One Response to “Comparing catchers”

  1. 1. Why is Ted Simmons not in the Hall of Fame?

    Maybe because Ted was the worst defensive catcher of his era. Whitey Herzog said of replacing Simmons with Darrell Porter: I traded a good hitter who couldn’t catch and signed a good catcher who hit OK. It helped us by 5 to 10 games in the standings.

    Maybe because Ted had “more than his share” of selfish.

    Maybe because Ted played in St. Louis and Milwaukee instead of New York and Boston.

    I say some combination of those 3 things.

    I rate Simmons as a good ballplayer but not a Hall of Famer.

    What do others think?

    2. Is Mike Piazza a Hall of Famer?

    As with all sluggers of that era, his Hall of Fame chances might depend on perceived steroid involvement. The more players turn out to be “dirty,” the more the shadow is cast on every one of them.

    And, not to belabor, he is helped by the fact that he played in Los Angeles and New York.


Discussion Area - Leave a Comment