Tuesday, August 12, 2014

#318 - Ted Simmons

What a card: Ted Simmons struggled through his 1984 season with the Brewers, batting just .221 with a .269 on-base percentage in 132 games. The four home runs he hit were the fewest in a season since the three he hit during his 82-game rookie year in 1970.

My observation on the front: Simmons was one of those guys I paid attention to a lot in his baseball cards. I knew him well as a catcher, and when he moved out from behind the plate, it was disconcerting. This is the only Topps card of his in which "catcher" is not listed as a position. And that's because he didn't play catcher at all in '84.

More opinion from me: If you were paying attention, you know that this is the second straight Brewers card in the set. This is what I had eluded to in the last post. Featuring the same team in back-to-back cards was rare for Topps at this time. It usually meant a last-minute change. My guess is Jack Lazorko filled in at card #317 for whatever the original plan was.

Something you might know: Simmons was one of the best hitting catchers in the majors. Long known as a Cardinal, he was dealt to the Brewers after a feud with Whitey Herzog and ended up playing his old team in the World Series less than two years later.

Something you might not know: Simmons was a finalist to be the first manager in Tampa Bay Devil Rays history. But Tampa Bay went with Larry Rothschild instead.

My observation on the back: Simmons once held the National League record for career home runs for a switch-hitter with 182. Chipper Jones now holds that mark with a much more advanced 468.

The blog wants to speak now: The News category is updated.

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