Sunday, August 7, 2016

Hall of Fame Signed Baseball - Al Simmons

Not to be lost with the excitement of Jimmie Foxx, there was another Hall of Famer on my ball that I purchased at the National.  Al Simmons is one of those players from that era that is known only to die hard baseball fans.  Yet, he is a Hall of Famer, and a very tough one to get on a baseball.

Simmons (b. 1902 - d. 1956) played in the majors from 1924 to 1941, 1943 and 1944 for the A's (Philadelphia), White Sox, Tigers, Senators, Braves (Boston), Reds and Red Sox.  He had 2,927 hits, 307 home runs and a .334 batting average.  He finished as high as 2nd in the MVP voting (1925, losing to Roger Peckinpaugh).  Peckinpaugh's stats do not even begin to compare to Simmons's, let alone other players during that season (Babe Ruth..???).  That version of the MVP award was voted on by an 8-member committee and was dropped after 1928.

Simmons had a great career; he is the fastest player to ever record 2,000 hits (in 1,390 games).  He is ranked 23rd all-time in batting average with .334.  He was a three-time All Star (1933, 1934 and 1935) and won the World Series twice with the A's (1929 and 1930).  He had 200 or more hits six times.  He was the AL batting champion in 1930 and 1931 (.381 and .390, respectively).  He batted over .300 and had 100+ RBI in his first eleven seasons.  Simmons was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1953 with 75.4% of the vote (his seventh official ballot).  Simmons is my 124th Hall of Fame autograph.

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