Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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Ted Simmons

2018 Modern Era Hall of Fame Ballot: Ted Simmons

The Baseball Hall of Fame recently announced their 2018 Modern Era ballot. One player on the ballot is former St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers catcher, Ted Simmons.

The first table below presents Ted Simmons's career as measured by Player won-lost records.

Ted Simmons
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
1968SLN18
2
0.10.00.7660.0
0.0
0.10.10.6180.00.0
1969SLN19
5
0.60.40.6000.1
0.1
0.30.60.359-0.1-0.1
1970SLN20
82
6.07.00.464-0.4
0.1
6.07.00.459-0.50.1
1971SLN21
133
13.912.00.5381.1
2.1
13.412.60.5160.51.5
1972SLN22
152
17.516.50.5140.5
1.9
17.316.60.5100.31.7
1973SLN23
161
19.116.90.5311.3
2.8
19.316.80.5351.42.9
1974SLN24
152
17.615.50.5321.2
2.5
17.315.80.5230.92.2
1975SLN25
157
18.015.20.5421.4
2.8
18.314.90.5511.73.0
1976SLN26
150
15.015.40.493-0.2
1.0
15.814.50.5200.61.8
1977SLN27
150
17.613.90.5591.7
2.9
18.013.60.5702.03.3
1978SLN28
152
16.616.00.5100.4
1.6
17.615.00.5401.32.6
1979SLN29
123
14.510.90.5711.8
2.8
14.011.40.5511.32.3
1980SLN30
145
16.815.20.5260.9
2.1
17.714.30.5531.83.0
1981MIL31
100
10.19.20.5230.6
1.4
9.210.00.479-0.30.6
1982MIL32
137
13.812.60.5230.9
1.9
13.712.70.5180.71.8
1983MIL33
153
16.214.00.5361.1
2.5
15.614.70.5150.51.9
1984MIL34
132
10.113.10.435-1.8
-0.6
9.713.40.420-2.1-1.0
1985MIL35
143
12.313.60.475-0.8
0.6
12.913.10.497-0.21.1
1986ATL36
76
4.45.00.468-0.3
0.1
4.74.70.500-0.10.4
1987ATL37
73
5.15.00.506-0.0
0.4
4.95.10.491-0.20.3
1988ATL38
78
2.74.50.378-0.9
-0.6
3.33.90.459-0.30.0
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
2,456
248.2231.80.5178.6
28.5
249.1230.80.5199.529.5
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
17
1.71.60.511 0.21.51.50.498 0.1
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
2,473
249.9233.40.517
28.7
250.6232.30.519 29.6


Ted Simmons was elected to the Hall of Merit in his first year of eligibility. In contrast, he was unceremoniously dropped from the BBWAA ballot after only one year with a mere 17 votes (3.7%).

So, who got it right?

The next table shows the top 10 catchers in (context-neutral, teammate-adjusted) wins over positional average since World War II.

Top 10 Catchers, 1946 - 2018
(ranked by career eWOPA)
eWins eLosses eWinPct eWOPA
1Mike Piazza185.1149.40.55321.5
2Carlton Fisk223.6192.30.53821.4
3Johnny Bench184.8147.70.55620.2
4Yogi Berra180.0150.20.54517.0
5Gary Carter214.4186.00.53516.7
6Jorge Posada146.7130.60.52913.9
7Roy Campanella121.7101.10.54611.6
8Ivan Rodriguez229.4223.00.50711.5
9Joe Mauer96.479.90.54711.5
10Ted Simmons183.7164.50.52811.4


Simmons makes the top 10 - which is impressive, of course - although he's not actually ahead of any Hall-of-Fame catchers and behind one other eligible non-HOFer.

Since World War II, catcher might be the position where the BBWAA has done the best job of drawing a clean in/out line: everybody they've elected is, at least arguably, better than everybody they've failed to elect (Campanella has potential Negro League credit and Rodriguez has additional career value credit that could push either or both of them ahead of Posada). But if you believe (as I do) that the BBWAA has elected too few catchers over this time period, Ted Simmons would certainly be high in the queue for additional catchers (among those eligible).

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 - 2018
(ranked by career pWORL)
Player pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL
1Yogi Berra245.3182.30.57432.650.1
2Johnny Bench245.9197.30.55524.642.3
3Carlton Fisk250.8219.80.53321.239.9
4Mike Piazza213.0174.20.55022.738.6
5Gary Carter241.4215.90.52814.632.1
6Jorge Posada172.0146.80.54018.331.3
7Ted Simmons248.2231.80.5178.628.5
8Darrell Porter162.4138.90.53914.226.4
9Roy Campanella126.594.50.57217.326.3
10Ivan Rodriguez233.3234.20.4997.826.2


Simmons fares a bit better in this table and, in fact, slips ahead of two Hall-of-Famers.

Like many catchers, Ted Simmons's career faded quickly in his mid-30s. Ted Simmon's age-34 season (1984), in particular, was terrible and actually lowers his numbers in the previous tables. 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 - 2018
(ranked by career pWORL)
Player pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL
1Johnny Bench224.1174.20.56325.841.8
2Yogi Berra189.7137.30.58027.440.6
3Mike Piazza168.1127.40.56923.535.6
4Gary Carter206.2178.10.53715.229.9
5Ted Simmons213.6190.60.52812.528.7
6Darrell Porter154.8133.10.53813.324.7
7Thurman Munson154.1133.20.53612.724.4
8Ivan Rodriguez181.8174.60.51010.024.3
9Roy Campanella105.376.10.58015.723.1
10Brian McCann159.1143.60.52611.022.4


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.

2018 Modern Era Hall of Fame Ballot



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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