Al SimmonsAloysius Harry Simmons
Inducted to the Hall of Fame in: 1953
Primary team: Philadelphia Athletics
Primary position: Left Fielder
“I wish I had nine players named Al Simmons,” Hall of Fame manager Connie Mack said.
Born Aloysius Szymanski in 1902 to Polish immigrants living in Milwaukee, Al Simmons was a slugging left fielder for Connie Mack’s fearsome Philadelphia Athletics squads of the late 1920s and early ’30s. Simmons was not as celebrated as some of his contemporaries like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig or Rogers Hornsby – or even teammates Mickey Cochrane, Lefty Grove and Jimmie Foxx. But at his peak Simmons was one of the most dangerous hitters of the live-ball era.
During his first nine years, from 1924 through 1932, all with Philadelphia, Simmons led all major league batters with 1,796 hits and 343 doubles, while finishing second with 1,246 RBIs and fourth behind Ruth, Gehrig and Hack Wilson with 208 home runs. In that time, he batted .358 and slugged .590 across 5,019 at-bats, while finishing as high as second in MVP voting and among the top 10 four other times.
A favorite of Mack and a driving force behind the Athletics’ three-time American League pennant winners from 1929 through 1931 – and World Series champions the first two of those years – Simmons won AL batting titles in 1930 (.381) and ’31 (.390.) He holds the single-season record for hits by a right-handed batter with 253 in 1925, which he collected in just 153 games.
During a 20-year career, Simmons compiled a .334 batting average, 2,927 hits and 307 home runs, all with an unconventional batting stance that earned him the nickname “Bucketfoot Al” because his stride took him toward third base. Mack sold Simmons to the Chicago White Sox in September 1932. Simmons hit .337 and made a pair of all-star teams during his first two years in Chicago, and on April 26, 1934, he collected career hit No. 2,000 in his 1,393rd game, making him the fastest player in history to reach that milestone. He turned 33 during the 1935 season, and from that point to the end of his career, Simmons played for seven teams in nine seasons, batting .287 with 67 homers in 2,577 at-bats. Fittingly, he made his final four appearances for Philadelphia in 1944 and joined their coaching staff the following year.
Year Inducted: 1953
Primary Team: Philadelphia Athletics
Position Played: Left Fielder
Birth place: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Birth year: 1902
Died: 1956, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Philadelphia Athletics (1924-1932)
Philadelphia Athletics (1940-1941)
Philadelphia Athletics (1944)
Chicago White Sox (1933-1935)
Detroit Tigers (1936)
Washington Senators (1937-1938)
Boston Braves (1939)
Cincinnati Reds (1939)
Boston Red Sox (1943)
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