Cardinals to unveil Ted Simmons statue and retire Hall of Fame catcher’s number

St. Louis Cardinals

St. Louis Cardinals’ Ted Simmons is shown in St. Petersburg, Fla., Feb. 1971. (AP Photo/Harry Harris)

ST. LOUIS – The Cardinals plan to honor National Baseball Hall of Fame catcher Ted Simmons with a bronze statue outside of Busch Stadium.

The statue will be unveiled on Saturday, July 31 ahead of the Redbirds 6:15 p.m. game against the Minnesota Twins.

The organization will also retire Simmons’ uniform number 23.

“Ted Simmons is one of the finest players to have worn the Birds on the Bat and will forever be a part of Cardinals history,” Cardinals’ Chairman Bill DeWitt, Jr. said.  “We are proud to honor Ted before his Hall of Fame induction this Fall and add him to the exclusive group of ten individuals who have both a statue outside of Busch Stadium and their uniform number retired.  We hope our fans will come out in force to pay tribute to Ted and his family on July 31.”

The tribute starts at 2:00 p.m. by the statue located at 8th Street and Clark Avenue. It will have a place of honor next to the other 11 statues outside of Busch Stadium. The last statue to be added to the group was of Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith in August 2002.

The tribute will continue on the field at approximately 6:00 p.m. when Simmons’ number is retired. Simmons will ride around the warning track in a Fore Mustang and throw the ceremonial first pitch.

Simmons is the 15th person to have his number retired with the Cardinals. The last person to have their number retired was Hall of Fame Manager Tony La Russa who wore number 10. La Russa’s number was retired in May 2012.

30,000 fans 16 and older will receive a Ted Simmons bobblehead presented by Coca-Cola and Dierbergs as they enter the gates on July 31.

Simmons will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York on September 8. It will be broadcast live on the MLB Network at 12:30 p.m. CT. He played 13 of his 21 seasons with St. Louis. The Cardinals drafted him in the first round in 1967. He made his major league debut at 19 years old. Simmons was a switch-hitter and batted a career .285 with 248 home runs and 1,389 RBIs in 2,456 games played. He was an All-Star six times during his time with the Cardinals and eight times over his whole career. He also received the Silver Slugger award and ranks among the Cardinals’ top-10 in career home runs with 172.

After his playing days were over, he served as the Cardinals Director of Player Development from 1988 to 1991. In 1992, he took the GM position with Pittsburgh.

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