Al Simmons

From BR Bullpen

1932 U.S. Caramel

Aloysius Harry Simmons
born Alois Szymanski

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 11", Weight 190 lb.

Inducted into Hall of Fame in 1953

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Biographical Information[edit]

"I wish I had nine players named Al Simmons." - Connie Mack

Al Simmons is one of the least-remembered great stars from the lively ball era. He hit for a high average with power, and also had good range in the outfield, playing left field and center field. He had some of his best years from 1929 to 1931, leading the Philadelphia Athletics to three pennants and two World Series championships in that three-year period.

Simmons, born Alois Szymanski, was born and died in Milwaukee, WI. He broke into the majors with the 1924 Philadelphia Athletics at the age of 22, driving in 102 runs that year, good for second on the team and ninth in the league. He attracted some attention from around the league, as he was 11th in the MVP voting as a rookie.

1933 Goudey baseball card of Al Simmons of the Chicago White Sox #35

Simmons then kicked up his performance notably in his second major league season, finishing second in the MVP voting. He led the league in both hits and total bases that year. By 1927, Simmons was a young star who played with quite a few old veterans on the Athletics: Ty Cobb, Eddie Collins, and Zack Wheat. The team also had a number of other young stars, including Jimmie Foxx (then 19) and Lefty Grove. Simmons posted an Adjusted OPS of at least 140 for seven straight seasons, from 1925 to 1931, reaching a peak of 176 in both of the pennant-winning seasons of 1930 and 1931. He was the American League batting champ in both years. He held the American League record of 394 consecutive games to start his career (1924-1926), until broken by Hideki Matsui, who played 518 consecutive games for the New York Yankees from 2003 to 2006. He set an MLB record by reaching 100 RBIs in his first eleven MLB seasons (1924-34). Simmons reached 1,500 hits in 1,040 games, the quickest player to 1,500 hits in MLB history. He was also the quickest player to reach 2,000 hits in MLB modern history, he did so in 1390 games.

Simmons then had a long decline phase, from 1932 to 1944, when his Adjusted OPS was never as high as 140, making nine different stops in those years and never playing for one team longer than three years in that period.

Seven of the ten most similar players (according to the similarity scores method) are Hall of Famers, with the most similar being Goose Goslin. However, since Simmons was able to play a very long time after his best years, the most similar players don't seem very similar (only Goslin has a similarity score above 820).

Simmons ranks highly on the Hall of Fame tests, being # 21 on the Hall of Fame Standards test, # 27 on the Hall of Fame Monitor, and # 32 on the Gray Ink test (all ratings through June 2007).

He was called "Bucketfoot Al", because his natural swing put his foot "in the bucket", which is to say towards third base, which is normally considered a flaw.

He died relatively young, shortly after he turned 54.

"Never relax on any time at bat. Never miss a game you can play." - Al Simmons to Stan Musial

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 3-time AL All-Star (1933-1935)
  • 2-time AL Batting Average Leader (1930 & 1931)
  • 2-time AL At Bats Leader (1925 & 1932)
  • AL Runs Scored Leader (1930)
  • 2-time AL Hits Leader (1925 & 1932)
  • 2-time AL Total Bases Leader (1925 & 1929)
  • AL RBI Leader (1929)
  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 6 (1925, 1929-1932 & 1938)
  • 30-Home Run Seasons: 3 (1929, 1930 & 1932)
  • 100 RBI Seasons: 12 (1924-1934 & 1936)
  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 6 (1925, 1929-1932 & 1934)
  • 200 Hits Seasons: 6 (1925 & 1929-1933)
  • Won two World Series with the Philadelphia Athletics (1929 & 1930)
  • Baseball Hall of Fame: Class of 1953

Records Held[edit]

  • Hits, right handed batter, season, 253, 1925
  • Quickest player to reach 2,000 hits - 1,390 games
  • Quickest player to reach 2,500 hits - 1,784 games
  • Most 100 RBI seasons to start a career- 11

Further Reading[edit]

  • Clifton Blue Parker: Bucketfoot Al: The Baseball Life of Al Simmons, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2011.

Related Sites[edit]