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Al Simmons

Position: Outfielder
Teams: Philadelphia Athletics, 1924-1932; 1940-1941; 1944; Chicago White Sox, 1933-1935; Detroit, Tigers 1936; Washington Senators, 1937-1938; Boston Braves 1939; Cincinnati Reds, 1939; Boston Red Sox, 1943

Al Simmons’s career .334 batting average made mincemeat of critics who believed that he would never be able to hit good pitching with his peculiar penchant for striding toward third base when he swung rather than toward the mound. The unorthodox batting style caused him to be tagged “Bucketfoot Al.”

Al Simmons
Al Simmons became the first player in American League history to drive in
100 or more runs in each of his first two seasons in the majors.

Born Aloys Szymanski (1902-1956) in a Polish section of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Simmons never wanted to be anything but a baseball player. In 1922, he signed his first professional contract with the Milwaukee Brewers of the American Association. When Al hit .398 for Milwaukee in a 24-game trial at the end of the 1923 campaign, the Brewers found themselves with a hot property on their hands and were able to sell him to the Philadelphia Athletics for around $50,000.

In 1924, his rookie year with the A’s, Simmons batted .308 and knocked home 102 runs. The following year, he collected a league-leading 253 hits and hiked his average to .384. Moreover, he became the first player in American League history to drive in 100 or more runs in each of his first two seasons in the majors.

Not only an outstanding hitter, he was also an able outfielder with a strong throwing arm. The addition of Ty Cobb in 1927 helped Al to develop even further as a hitter. Like Harry Heilmann, another great right-handed hitter during the 1920s, Simmons found it remarkably easy to befriend the much shunned Cobb. In his single-minded dedication to becoming the best player he possibly could be, Simmons himself acquired the reputation for not being overly personable.

When the A’s copped their first of three consecutive pennants in 1929, Al enjoyed the first of five straight seasons in which he collected 200 or more hits, at the time an American League record. The following year he won the first of two consecutive batting crowns and was generally regarded as the American League’s most valuable player.

Simmons was traded to the Chicago White Sox in 1933 when A’s manager Connie Mack began to break up his dynasty for economic reasons. Later in his career Al played for Detroit, Washington, and Boston before spending one season in the National League. He returned to the A’s in 1944 before retiring.

A coach for the A’s during the late 1940s, Simmons also acted as the club’s unofficial manager when Connie Mack grew too old to serve as anything more than a dugout ornament. In 1953, Al was elected to the Hall of Fame.

Here are Al Simmons's major league totals:





















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