Curtis Thomas Simmons (born May 19, 1929) is an American former professional baseball left-handed pitcher, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1947 to 1950 and 1952 to 1967. Along with right-hander Robin Roberts (a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame), Simmons was one of the twin anchors of the starting rotation of the "Whiz Kids", the Philadelphia Phillies' 1950 National League (NL) championship team. He is the youngest surviving player from the team. Simmons is also the oldest living former member of the Los Angeles Angels organization. He also played for the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs
|Born: May 19, 1929|
Whitehall Township, Pennsylvania
|September 28, 1947, for the Philadelphia Phillies|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 1, 1967, for the California Angels|
|Earned run average||3.54|
|Career highlights and awards|
In 1947, Phillies owner Bob Carpenter arranged for an exhibition match between his Phillies and a team of all-star high school players from the Lehigh Valley. The game was played on the opening day of Egypt Memorial Park in front of a crowd of 4,500. Simmons struck out eleven and the game ended in a 4–4 tie (a late-game error was the only thing that prevented the high school team from winning). The 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m), 175 lb (79 kg) lefty was signed by the Phillies, and awarded a $65,000 signing bonus (one of the highest ever awarded at that time). That spring, Simmons also pitched and played outfield in an All-American high school game between teams managed by Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb. In 1949, Simmons returned to the Lehigh Valley, pitching for the Phillies in an exhibition match (a game won by a 10–3 margin) against the Allentown Redbirds, in front of a record crowd of 4,590 at Whitehall's Breadon Field.
Simmons won 17 of 25 decisions during the 1950 season, playing a role in bringing Philadelphia its second National League (NL) championship of the 20th century. With the outbreak of the Korean War, however, Simmons was called to active military service in September 1950, with only a month remaining in the campaign. The Phillies managed to hold off the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1950 season's final contest (on Dick Sisler's 10th-inning home run) to win the NL flag by two games. Simmons was stationed at Camp Atterbury and requested and was granted a leave on October 4, 1950 to attend the Series. The Phillies chose not to request that Commissioner of Baseball Happy Chandler rule Simmons eligible for the Series, but Simmons chose to attend to support the team. Simmons' place on the Series roster was taken by pitcher Jocko Thompson. Without Simmons, the Phillies were swept in four games by Joe DiMaggio and the New York Yankees.
Simmons also missed the entire 1951 campaign while in the military, but he returned in 1952 to win 14 games and post a stellar 2.82 earned run average (ERA). The team would never again contend for a championship during his tenure there, although Simmons continued to pitch into the late 1950s. In 1959, he was stricken with a sore arm, and in 1960, the Phillies – now in last place and in rebuilding mode – released him on May 17, 1960, after four mound appearances. Signed as a free agent by the St. Louis Cardinals three days later, Simmons began a comeback that culminated in 15- and 18-game-winning seasons in 1963–1964, while in a pitching rotation that included Bob Gibson and Ray Sadecki. In 1964, he appeared in the World Series against the Yankees. He started two games for the eventual world champion Cardinals, losing his only decision but compiling a 2.51 ERA.
Simmons’ last winning record was in 1964; he lost 15 games for St. Louis in 1965, then finished his career with the Chicago Cubs and California Angels, in 1966–1967. His final record, over 20 years, was 193–182 (.515). In 569 games pitched and 3,3481⁄3 innings, Simmons allowed 3,313 hits and 1,063 bases on balls. He recorded 1,697 strikeouts, 163 complete games, 36 shutouts, and five saves. Along with Smoky Burgess, Simmons was the last player to formally retire who had played in MLB in the 1940s (not counting Minnie Miñoso, who would later un-retire, twice). MLB Hall of Fame hitters Hank Aaron and Stan Musial each separately named Simmons as the toughest pitcher they had to face in their careers.
The 1950 Philadelphia Phillies won the National League pennant by two games over the Brooklyn Dodgers. Nicknamed the "Whiz Kids" because of the youth of their roster, they went on to lose the World Series to the New York Yankees in four straight games.1952 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The 1952 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 19th playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 8, 1952, at Shibe Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania the home of the Philadelphia Phillies of the National League. The game resulted in the National League defeating the American League 3–2 in 5 innings. It was the first All-Star Game—and to date, the only—to be called early due to rain.
Mickey Mantle was selected an All-Star for the first time, as was pitcher Satchel Paige, who a day before the game turned 46 years old. Neither appeared in the game.1953 Philadelphia Phillies season
The 1953 Philadelphia Phillies season was the 71st in franchise history.1954 Philadelphia Phillies season
The 1954 Philadelphia Phillies season was a season in Major League Baseball. The Phillies finished fourth in the National League with a record of 75 wins and 79 losses.1955 Philadelphia Phillies season
The 1955 Philadelphia Phillies season was a season in American baseball. It was the first season for Phillies' manager Mayo Smith. Prior to the season, the Phillies were seen to have strong pitching with ace Robin Roberts but did not have power hitters to match pennant favorites Brooklyn, New York, or Milwaukee, behind whom the Phillies finished in fourth place with a record of 77 and 77.1957 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The 1957 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 24th playing of the midseason exhibition baseball game between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 9, 1957, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri, the home of the St. Louis Cardinals of the National League. The game was marked by controversy surrounding Cincinnati Redlegs fans stuffing the ballot box and electing all but one of their starting position players to the game. The game resulted in the American League defeating the National League 6–5.1958 Philadelphia Phillies season
The 1958 Philadelphia Phillies season was the 76th in franchise history. The Phillies finished the season in last place in the National League. It was the Phillies third losing season in five seasons, and their fourth losing season during the 1950s.1960 Philadelphia Phillies season
The 1960 Philadelphia Phillies season was the 78th in franchise history. The team finished in eighth place in the National League with a record of 59–95, 36 games behind the NL and World Series Champion Pittsburgh Pirates.Bubba Church
Emory Nicholas "Bubba" Church (September 12, 1924 – September 17, 2001) was an American right-handed starting pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for the Philadelphia Phillies (1950–52), Cincinnati Reds / Redlegs (1952–53) and Chicago Cubs (1953–55). He was born in Birmingham, Alabama.In a six-season career, Church posted a 36–37 record with 274 strikeouts and a 3.37 ERA in 9992⁄3 innings pitched.
During his rookie season, Church was playing a key role for the famed 1950 "Whiz Kids" Phillies in their fight for a pennant. He was an important member of a very young pitching staff, teaming with Robin Roberts, Curt Simmons, Bob Miller, and the dependable reliever Jim Konstanty. However, Church was struck in the face by a line drive off the bat of Cincinnati's Ted Kluszewski. The ball was hit so hard that it caromed into right field on the fly. A week later, he was out on the mound again to face the hard-hitting Dodgers, but after the game his season was over, and he did not play in the 1950 World Series. He finished 1950 at 8–6 with an ERA of 2.73 and two shutouts in 142 innings.
Church enjoyed his most productive season in 1951, when he collected career-highs in victories (15), strikeouts (104), shutouts (4) and innings (246), including a one-hitter over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Early in the 1952 season, he was traded to the Reds. Church was 5–9 for Cincinnati, and 7–8 for the Reds and the Chicago Cubs in 1953. Two and a half more seasons with the Cubs, pitching only occasionally because of arm problems, brought his big league career to an end in 1955.
Prior to Church's professional baseball career, he served in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II serving in the China Burma India Theater.Church died at his home in Birmingham, Alabama, five days after reaching age 77.Don Leppert
Donald George Leppert (born October 19, 1931) is an American former professional baseball player and coach.
A catcher, he appeared in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1961 to 1964 for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Senators. Leppert threw and batted right-handed; he stood 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m) tall and weighed 220 pounds (100 kg). He was born in Indianapolis and began his 12-year active career in 1955 in the Milwaukee Braves' organization.
During an MLB career of only 3½ years, Leppert nonetheless distinguished himself by hitting a home run on the first pitch thrown to him in the majors. On June 18, 1961, Leppert connected in the second inning of his MLB debut against Curt Simmons of the St. Louis Cardinals; the blow gave the Pirates a 2–1 lead in a game they would eventually win, 5–3.Almost two years later, on April 11, 1963, he hit three homers in his third game in the American League; a solo shot off Ike Delock in the fourth inning, followed by a three-run blast and another solo homer, both off relief pitcher Chet Nichols, as the Senators beat the Boston Red Sox, 8–0, at DC Stadium. To top it all off, Leppert caught Tom Cheney's one-hit shutout, with the Washington pitcher striking out ten Red Sox.That season, Leppert was selected as a reserve on the American League All-Star team, but he did not play in the July 9 game at Cleveland Stadium.In 190 Major League games, Leppert collected 122 hits and 15 home runs.
After his playing career ended in the minors in 1966, Leppert managed in Class A in the Pittsburgh organization in 1967.
He then embarked upon an 18-year stint as a Major League coach for the Pirates (1968–76), Toronto Blue Jays (1977–79) and Houston Astros (1980–85).
In the late 1980s, Leppert served as field coordinator of minor league instruction for the Minnesota Twins and managed in the Twins' farm system.
Leppert also umpired a game on August 25, 1978, in Toronto during an umpires' strike. The Blue Jays' Leppert and Jerry Zimmerman, then the bullpen coach of the Twins, are the last two active coaches to umpire a Major League game.
He is sometimes confused with Don Eugene Leppert, a second baseman who played one year in MLB with the 1955 Baltimore Orioles.Egypt, Pennsylvania
Egypt is an unincorporated community and a census-designated place in Whitehall Township, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, United States, about 7 miles (11 km) north of Allentown and 1 mile (1.6 km) west of Cementon. Egypt is located on Pennsylvania Route 329, just west of its intersection with Pennsylvania Route 145 at Eagle Point.
The population of Egypt is 2,391 as of the 2010 census.Gordie Richardson
Gordon Clark Richardson (born July 19, 1938) is an American former professional baseball player, a left-handed pitcher who played in the Major Leagues from 1964–66 for the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Mets. He stood 6 feet (1.8 m) tall and weighed 185 pounds (84 kg) as an active player.
As a rookie in 1964, Richardson made a substantial contribution to the eventual National League and 1964 World Series champion Cardinals. After a stellar 9–3 record and 1.55 earned run average for the Triple-A Jacksonville Suns, he was recalled by the Cardinals and made his MLB debut as a starting pitcher against the first-place Philadelphia Phillies on July 26 at Connie Mack Stadium. Richardson responded with a complete game, 6–1 victory in which he gave up only five hits and three bases on balls. It was Richardson's only complete game in the Majors. He also recorded his first Major League save against the Phils on September 30 at St. Louis, preserving an 8–5 win for Redbird lefthander Curt Simmons. Richardson's efforts were crucial, as they enabled the Cardinals to overtake the Phillies to finish in first place in the NL by a single game.
Richardson appeared in 19 games for the 1964 Cardinals, 13 in relief, fashioning a 4–2 record and a 2.30 earned run average in 47 innings pitched. However, he was not effective in the 1964 World Series, giving up three earned runs in two-thirds of an inning over two appearances.
Traded to the Mets during the offseason, Richardson appeared in parts of the 1965 and 1966 seasons for New York, largely as a relief pitcher. All told, Richardson gave up 105 hits and 37 bases on balls, with 86 strikeouts, in 118 MLB innings. He retired from baseball after the 1966 season, his tenth as a professional.Hank Sauer
Henry John Sauer (March 17, 1917 – August 24, 2001) was a left fielder in Major League Baseball. From 1941 through 1959, Sauer played for the Cincinnati Reds (1941–42, 1945, 1948–49), Chicago Cubs (1949–55), St. Louis Cardinals (1956), New York Giants (1957) and San Francisco Giants (1958–59). He batted and threw right-handed.
He and Johnny Bench are the only players in major league history ever to have hit three home runs in a single game twice against the same pitcher. He did it 1950 and 1952 while with the Chicago Cubs, both times against Philadelphia's Curt Simmons.
In a 15-season career, Sauer was a .266 hitter with 288 home runs and 876 RBIs in 1399 games.Philadelphia Phillies all-time roster
The Philadelphia Phillies are a Major League Baseball team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League. The team has played officially under two names since beginning play in 1883: the current moniker, as well as the "Quakers", which was used in conjunction with "Phillies" during the team's early history. The team was also known unofficially as the "Blue Jays" during the World War II era. Since the franchise's inception, 2,006 players have made an appearance in a competitive game for the team, whether as an offensive player (batting and baserunning) or a defensive player (fielding, pitching, or both).
Of those 2,006 Phillies, 202 players have had surnames beginning with the letter M, which is the largest total of any single letter, followed by S with 187 players. The highest numbers of individual batters belongs to M (115), and S has the most pitchers (90). The letters with the smallest representation are Q (5 players), U (6 players), Z (7 players), and Y (8 players); however, there has never been a Phillies player, nor a player in Major League Baseball history, whose surname begins with the letter X.Thirty-two players in Phillies history have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Those players for whom the Hall recognizes the Phillies as their primary team include Grover Cleveland Alexander, Richie Ashburn, Dave Bancroft, Steve Carlton, Ed Delahanty, Billy Hamilton, Chuck Klein, Robin Roberts, Mike Schmidt, and Sam Thompson; manager Harry Wright was also inducted for his contributions with the club. The Phillies have retired numbers for six players, including Schmidt (#20), Carlton (#32), Ashburn (#1), Roberts (#36), and Jim Bunning (#14); the sixth retired number is Jackie Robinson's #42, which was retired throughout baseball in 1997. The Phillies also honor two additional players with the letter "P" in the manner of a retired number: Alexander played before numbers were used in the major leagues; and Klein wore a variety of numbers in his Phillies career.Thirty-six Phillies players have been elected to the Philadelphia Baseball Wall of Fame. All of the players listed above (save Robinson) have been elected; also included are Dick Allen, Bob Boone, Larry Bowa, Johnny Callison, Gavvy Cravath, Darren Daulton, Del Ennis, Jimmie Foxx, Dallas Green, Granny Hamner, Willie Jones, John Kruk, Mike Lieberthal, Greg Luzinski, Garry Maddox, Sherry Magee, Tug McGraw, Juan Samuel, Curt Schilling, Bobby Shantz, Chris Short, Curt Simmons, Tony Taylor, John Vukovich, and Cy Williams. Foxx and Shantz were inducted for their contributions as members of the Philadelphia Athletics. Two non-players are also members of the Wall of Fame for their contributions to the Phillies: broadcaster Harry Kalas; and manager, general manager, and team executive Paul Owens.Wilmington Blue Rocks (1940–52)
The Wilmington Blue Rocks were a minor league baseball team based in Wilmington, Delaware, playing in the Interstate League from 1940–1952. The nickname "Blue Rocks" came from 73-year-old Robert Miller in a name-the-team contest. Miller lived in the Henry Clay section of the city, famed for its blue granite found along the Brandywine River. The current Wilmington Blue Rocks were named in 1992 for this original franchise.
In 1940, Bob Carpenter founded the original Wilmington Blue Rocks in partnership with Connie Mack as a Class B Interstate League affiliate of Mack's Philadelphia A's. In 1943 the Carpenter family bought the Philadelphia Phillies, and before the 1944 season they bought out Mack's interest and made the Blue Rocks an affiliate of the Phillies. The Phillies purchased the club outright in March 1945.The Blue Rocks played multiple mid-season exhibition games in Wilmington against major league clubs. The Blue Rocks went 2–2 against the Phillies, winning, 5–1, on August 23, 1943, and 9–3 on June 5, 1944, and losing, 7–4, on July 8, 1947, and 5–3 on July 11, 1951.The Blue Rocks played in Wilmington Park at 30th Street and Governor Printz Boulevard. Some 7,000 fans attended the Blue Rocks' first game at the ballpark in 1940 and the club established a Class B attendance record in 1940 with 145,643 attending ballgames at Wilmington Park. The club topped that mark with 172,531 fans in 1944. The single game attendance record for the Blue Rocks was set in 1947 when 7,062 fans saw Curt Simmons' Wilmington debut. By 1950 attendance for the season had dropped to 38,678. Although 1951 saw a slight improvement to 43,135, attendance declined again in 1952, which proved to be the last season both for the Interstate League and this incarnation of the Blue Rocks.
|NL pennants (7)|
Members of the Philadelphia Baseball Wall of Fame