Career w/Phillies: 1939.2 IP / 115-110 / 3.66 ERA / 1052 K
Signed by the Phillies after striking out a bunch of them in a high school vs. Phillies exhibition, Curt Simmons was destined for great things. Making his professional debut at age 18, the Egypt, Pa., native slowly became one of the Phillies greatest pitchers. Seventh on the franchise list in strikeouts and fifth in wins, Simmons spent parts of 14 seasons in Philadelphia. He came into his own in 1950 as a Whiz Kid, a 21-year-old who recorded a 17-8 record with a 3.40 ERA. He missed the World Series, serving in Korea, but returned for the 1952 season when he really dominated. That year he went 14-8 with a 2.82 ERA, earning his first All-Star berth. He returned to the game in 1953, recording a 16-13 ERA with a 3.21 ERA. He would have a few more fine seasons with the Phils, but fell victim to poor win-loss records because of some bad teams. Thinking he was finished, the Phillies released Simmons in 1960, but he returned to prominence for a few seasons with the Cardinals. He retired at age 39 in 1968, and he’ll be 80 in May.
Comment: A Lehigh County boy made good in the big city, Simmons is clearly one of the franchise’s greatest pitchers. In fact, by this count, he’s the eighth-greatest pitcher in franchise history. If only he played on some better teams, he could’ve won maybe 150 games as a Phillie. Alas …