Once, when asked who could provide the most value to a team, Mack reflected on half a century of managing and sighed, "If I could only have nine players named Simmons." The swaggering, hard-striking Simmons was a key component of the Philadelphia Athletics who won the AL pennant from 1929 to 1931, and who captured the World Series in 1929 and 1930. This lineup had Mickey Cochrane, Jimmie Foxx, Mule Haas and Max Bishop, as well as Simmons, and could score more than enough runs to fire the likes of Lefty Grove, George Earnshaw and Rube Walberg to victory.
His nickname comes from his unusual batting stance, which was such that he would step away from the plate and towards third base as he hit the ball - putting his front foot "in the bucket" as it were. Although he made batting instructors cringe, Simmons went on to compile more hits than any right-handed American League batter until Al Kaline. He was also a deadly clutch-hitter: famously, he participated in the most exciting rally in World Series history in 1929. Philadelphia came from behind the Cubs, who led 8-0 in the seventh inning of Game Four - Simmons led off the inning with a home run, and by the time he batted again in the inning the Athletics trailed only by one run. He singled to keep the WS-record 10-run inning alive.
Twice he took the batting title and he recorded 11 consecutive seasons as a .300 hitter and 100-RBI man. A lifetime .334 hitter, he notched 307 career HR.
Picture from National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc.
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