By Clifton Blue Parker
Al Simmons, at best shape within the Roaring Twenties, sparked one among baseball's maximum dynasties, the Philadelphia Athletics, to a number of championships, prior to turning into simply one other ballplayer. whereas his achievements validated greatness, he was once no longer a simple guy to like--for these competing opposed to him or with him--and he looked as if it would play to the extent of workforce expectation. modern money owed and different memories provide us a feeling of Al Simmons the individual and the ballplayer, his connections to humans, his groups and his skill to seize the enthusiasts' mind's eye in his halcyon days.
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Extra info for Bucketfoot Al: The Baseball Life of Al Simmons
29 The other notable Slavic player in the early twentieth century was Ed Konetchy, a huge ﬁrst baseman of Czech heritage who played in the majors from 1907 to 1921. From Wisconsin like Simmons, “Big Ed” cranked out more than 2,000 hits in a career in the National and Federal Leagues. Coveleski and Konetchy were rare cases of Slavic ballplayers in the early twentieth century. It took awhile for the urban ball ﬁelds of the immigrant neighborhoods to harvest more young talent. But the motivation was there in the Progressive Age, where social planners advocated an abundance of parks and playgrounds to teach boys about the American creed of fair play and sportsmanship.
Hits, hits, hits. Simmons’ torrid hitting in the last weeks gave him by season’s end the highest hit total — 253 — since George Sisler had set the major league record with 257 in 1920. The 253 hits for Simmons set a major league single-season record for right-handed hitters that still stands (Rogers Hornsby is next with 250 in 1922). As such, it marked his career high, uneclipsed by his ﬁve other 200-hit seasons. 44 Bucketfoot Al Simmons hit safely in 133 of his 153 games — a huge mark of consistency for a second-year player.
18 After Simmons calmed down, he got a single in four at-bats, his ﬁrst major league hit. He also played the ﬁeld perfectly, tracking down two hardhit ﬂy balls. But the Athletics lost, 4–0, as Johnson completed a four-hitter in an hour and forty-ﬁve minutes. It was the 36-year-old hurler’s 99th shutout — he would toss 110 in his 417-win career. Simmons might have been unduly relaxed in that ﬁrst game. Strangely, Arch Ward, writer for the Chicago Tribune, later claimed that Simmons took a few drinks before his debut.