Leaguer of the Month
Born: Oct. 14, 1895 in Middleton, Delaware
Died: Oct. 29, 2006 in St. Petersburg, FL
Ht:5'9", Wt: 165
Batted left and threw left
Position: outfield, pitcher
Teams: New York Lincoln Giants,
Cuban Stars, Blue Ribbons of Germantown, Homestead Grays.
paraphrase an old saying, "We had to say good-bye just when
we learned to say hello."
Simmons, who lived longer than any Negro Leaguer, or any
other Leaguer for that matter, died two weeks after turning
111 (at the time, the 5th oldest man in the U.S.), and only
a few months after the baseball world discovered him!
as it may seem, Simmons was born the same year as Babe Ruth
and George Halas, 1895, only 30 short years after the Civil
War ended! He was an outfielder and pitcher on some good
early Negro League teams, but it was assumed years ago that he
had long since passed away....until...a Negro League historian,
Dr. Layton Revel, on a tip from Massachusetts genealogist
Dave Lamberttook, discovered he was alive and
well in a retirement home
St. Petersburg, Florida.
Simmons spent much of his early life in Philadelphia,
learning the game of baseball playing stickball on the streets,
before being signed to play for the Blue Ribbons, which later
became the Homestead Grays.
Simmons, not one to brag, described himself as a good pitcher
with a good fastball and curve, and his top pay was around
$10 a game. Simmons was fortunate to have played against most
of the early Negro League stars such as Pop Lloyd, Spots Poles
and John Donaldson.
his baseball career ended, Simmons became a railroad porter,
then managed a department store. He was a baseball fan until
the day he died, following his hometown Tampa Bay Devil Rays
closely and attending games on occasion.
was married twice and outlived all five of his children.
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