C: Ted Simmons
The Numbers: 50.1 WAR, 42.4 JAWS, .285/.348/.437, 2,472 hits, 248 HR, 1,389 RBI
Simmons was an eight-time All-Star for the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers. He ranks 11th in terms of WAR for catchers in the history of baseball. Simmons is also tenth all-time with his 248 homers and is second in hits and RBIs. Maybe none of that adds up to a Hall of Fame career, but his numbers hardly pale in comparison to those of Carlton Fisk, a player who had no problem staying on the ballot and being elected in 2000.
Simmons’ career did not have that “wow” moment like Fisk’s, but he was just as good offensively, with more hits, RBIs, a better batting average, and better on-base percentage. One of the reasons some players fall into the HoVG and not the HOF is the fact that they lack a compelling narrative. Fisk had that going for him, Simmons did not.
Still, Simmons certainly deserved better than being a one-and-done candidate. If only for those long, flowing locks.