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Ted Simmons – 1973 Topps #85

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TImageed Lyle Simmons (born August 9, 1949 in Highland Park, Michigan) is an American former professional baseball player and coach. Simmons was a catcher for most of his Major League Baseball career with the St. Louis Cardinals, the Milwaukee Brewers and the Atlanta Braves. He was often overshadowed by Johnny Bench, Simmons is considered one of the best hitting catchers in Major League baseball history. He didn’t possess Bench’s power hitting ability,  but he hit for a higher batting average. ImageSimmons was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals as their first round pick in the 1967 Major League Baseball Draft. He made his major league debut with the Cardinals, appearing in two games during the 1968 pennant-winning season. Simmons spent another year in Triple-A baseball before returning to the major leagues in 1970. He finished 16th in balloting for the 1971 National League Most Valuable Player Award as the Cardinals finished in second place behind the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League Eastern Division. An eight-time All-Star, he batted above .300 seven times, reached 20 home runs six times, and eight times exceeded 90 runs batted in. He switch-hit home runs in a game three times and established a since-broken National League career record for home runs by a switch-hitter (182).

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