ST. LOUIS-In an occasion twice delayed by the coronavirus pandemic but still the culmination of a lifetime spent in baseball, former St. Louis Cardinals catcher Ted Simmons was officially inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum Wednesday, along with fellow former Cardinal Larry Walker, New York Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter and former MLBPA Union head Marvin Miller, all members of the 2020 class.
Simmons, who last month was honored in St. Louis with the retirement of his number and the unveiling of a statue outside Busch Stadium, first came up with the Cardinals in 1968 and was traded to Milwaukee after the 1980 season. He retired in 1988 after playing with the Atlanta Braves and then served in a variety of front office and scouting capacities with a number of clubs, including the Cardinals.
In his induction speech Wednesday, Simmons paid tribute to longtime Cardinals coach and instructor George Kissell and the lesson of humility Kissell taught. “His blessing had to be earned,” Simmons said.
He also saluted former teammate Curt Flood, among others, who sacrificed and paved the way for modern player freedoms like Free Agency.