Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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Ted Simmons

Hall-of-Famers as Seen Through Player Won-Lost Records: Ted Simmons

Ted Simmons was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Modern Era Veterans' Committee in 2020.

Five highlights of Ted Simmons's career: The first two tables below present Ted Simmons's career as measured by Player won-lost records, in and out of context.

Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWORL pWOPA
1968SLN18
2
0.10.00.10.1
1969SLN19
5
0.50.40.20.2
1970SLN20
82
6.16.9-0.0-0.7
1971SLN21
133
13.911.93.62.3
1972SLN22
152
17.416.52.60.9
1973SLN23
161
19.317.14.22.4
1974SLN24
152
17.715.63.92.3
1975SLN25
157
18.115.24.63.0
1976SLN26
150
15.115.31.1-0.4
1977SLN27
150
17.713.95.43.8
1978SLN28
152
16.715.92.30.8
1979SLN29
123
14.610.95.03.8
1980SLN30
145
16.915.13.62.1
1981MIL31
100
10.09.22.21.2
1982MIL32
137
13.812.63.11.8
1983MIL33
153
16.214.04.02.4
1984MIL34
132
10.113.0-2.2-3.5
1985MIL35
143
12.313.6-0.3-1.8
1986ATL36
76
4.34.9-0.0-0.6
1987ATL37
73
5.15.00.50.0
1988ATL38
78
2.74.4-1.3-1.7
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
2,456
248.5231.742.818.5
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
17
1.71.60.30.2
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
2,473
250.2233.443.118.6


Expected Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games eWins eLosses eWORL eWOPA
1968SLN18
2
0.10.10.00.0
1969SLN19
5
0.30.6-0.2-0.2
1970SLN20
82
6.07.1-0.3-0.9
1971SLN21
133
13.312.52.41.1
1972SLN22
152
17.316.62.60.9
1973SLN23
161
19.516.94.62.8
1974SLN24
152
17.415.93.31.7
1975SLN25
157
18.415.05.23.5
1976SLN26
150
15.814.62.71.2
1977SLN27
150
18.013.66.04.4
1978SLN28
152
17.615.04.32.7
1979SLN29
123
14.011.54.12.8
1980SLN30
145
17.614.35.23.6
1981MIL31
100
9.210.00.6-0.5
1982MIL32
137
13.612.72.81.5
1983MIL33
153
15.614.62.91.2
1984MIL34
132
9.713.4-3.0-4.3
1985MIL35
143
12.913.00.9-0.6
1986ATL36
76
4.64.60.60.1
1987ATL37
73
5.05.10.3-0.2
1988ATL38
78
3.33.9-0.1-0.5
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
2,456
249.3231.044.820.5
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
17
1.71.70.20.1
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
2,473
250.9232.745.120.6


Ted Simmons played his final major-league game in 1988. He was finally elected to the Hall of Fame in 2020 (well, technically late 2019), more than 30 years later. Why did it take so long?

Let's start with Ted Simmons's strongest case. Ted Simmons was an excellent hitter, especially for a catcher. The next table shows the top 10 catchers in offsensive eWins over positional average - offense only, earned only while playing catcher - since World War II.

Top 10 Catchers, 1946 - 2019
(ranked by career eWOPA, Offense only)
eWins eLosses eWinPct eWOPA
1Mike Piazza173.2132.10.56747.0
2Carlton Fisk198.7169.20.54040.2
3Johnny Bench170.5134.70.55939.1
4Yogi Berra170.0140.20.54833.9
5Gary Carter184.3160.20.53529.2
6Jorge Posada130.2112.60.53626.8
7Ted Simmons167.1146.60.53324.7
8Roy Campanella106.788.40.54720.8
9Gene Tenace71.352.30.57720.6
10Joe Mauer86.971.80.54820.4


Obviously, Ted Simmons looks very good there. But, of course, defense matters too.

The next table shows the top 10 catchers in (context-neutral, teammate-adjusted) eWins over positional average since World War II. I need to add a caveat here. For catcher fielding, Player won-lost records only measure a catcher's ability to control the opponents' running game, to prevent wild pitches and passed balls, and to make plays on balls in play. The last of these is very small - catchers don't make very many plays on balls in play - and the former two, while important, are also affected by pitchers. So, these number are missing any effect of catchers on pitch framing or pitch calling.

Top 10 Catchers, 1946 - 2019
(ranked by career eWOPA)
eWins eLosses eWinPct eWOPA
1Mike Piazza192.2154.90.55443.2
2Johnny Bench193.1154.20.55642.2
3Carlton Fisk227.1196.20.53741.7
4Yogi Berra189.2158.00.54535.3
5Gary Carter220.1190.70.53634.5
6Jorge Posada147.5131.20.52925.5
7Ted Simmons192.1171.50.52824.8
8Roy Campanella119.499.00.54722.9
9Joe Mauer95.279.20.54621.3
10Ivan Rodriguez228.5221.80.50721.0


The table above only includes player decisions earned while playing catcher. Simmons, like many catchers, spent some time playing elsewhere. The next table shows the top 10 players in pWins over replacement level (pWORL) who earned at least half of their player wins at catcher.

In addition to giving players credit for playing positions other than catcher, this list also gives a boost to players with longer careers by comparing to replacement level instead of positional average.

Top 10 Catchers, 1946 - 2019
(ranked by career pWORL)
Player pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL
1Yogi Berra246.3182.50.57466.088.3
2Johnny Bench247.2196.90.55751.473.2
3Carlton Fisk251.9219.30.53543.066.2
4Mike Piazza213.7173.60.55245.264.7
5Gary Carter242.8215.30.53031.253.3
6Jorge Posada172.1146.80.54034.250.3
7Roy Campanella127.694.50.57535.647.2
8Darrell Porter163.0139.10.54028.843.9
9Ted Simmons248.5231.70.51718.542.8
10Thurman Munson154.5133.20.53726.040.3


Like many catchers, Ted Simmons's career faded quickly in his mid-30s. Ted Simmon's age-34 season (1984), in particular, was terrible (he batted .221/.269/.300 in 532 plate appearances, mostly as a DH) and actually lowers his numbers in the previous table. He then hung around four more seasons after that which, while not as bad as his 1984 season, did nothing to add to his Hall-of-Fame case.

The next table repeats the above table but looks only at players' performances through their age-33 season (1983, in the case of Ted Simmons).

Top 10 Catchers through Age 33, 1946 - 2019
(ranked by career pWORL)
Player pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL
1Johnny Bench225.4173.70.56553.773.4
2Yogi Berra190.3137.60.58055.272.2
3Mike Piazza168.8127.00.57146.461.1
4Gary Carter207.2177.60.53832.150.6
5Ted Simmons214.0190.70.52926.146.1
6Roy Campanella106.176.10.58231.941.5
7Darrell Porter155.3133.30.53826.941.2
8Thurman Munson154.5133.20.53726.040.3
9Carlton Fisk122.6100.40.55026.437.4
10Ivan Rodriguez181.9174.40.51119.036.6


This is not necessarily the "fairest" way to judge Simmons, so much as the most favorable to him. But it's not entirely unreasonable, in my opinion. That's not to say that Ted Simmons is a more deserving Hall-of-Famer than Carlton Fisk, for example, but I think he is probably a deserving Hall-of-Famer.

Article last updated: January 8, 2020



All articles are written so that they pull data directly from the most recent version of the Player won-lost database. Hence, any numbers cited within these articles should automatically incorporate the most recent update to Player won-lost records. In some cases, however, the accompanying text may have been written based on previous versions of Player won-lost records. I apologize if this results in non-sensical text in any cases.

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