Lew Simmons was "one of the best-known minstrels on the American stage", according to his New York Times obituary. He was part of Simmons & Slocum, who "built" the Opera House at 10th and Arch Streets in Philadelphia.
Simmons was famous long before the Athletics of the American Association were formed. At the time he managed the club, he was also part owner, and Bill Sharsig, who managed the team for the rest of 1886 and in 1888-90, was another part owner. They and a third co-owner sold the team in 1887. See the article IN NEW HANDS; A STOCK COMPANY TO MANAGE THE ATHLETIC BASEBALL CLUB in the October 30, 1887 issue of the New York Times.
He died when hit by a truck.
Wilbert Robinson was a rookie on Simmons' team.