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Hummel's favorite story of 2019: End of the 25-year wait to write about Ted Simmons getting call for the Hall

Hummel's favorite story of 2019: End of the 25-year wait to write about Ted Simmons getting call for the Hall

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I'd been waiting 25 years to report one of the stories I finally got to write late in the year.

Former Cardinals star catcher Ted Simmons first became eligible for the Hall of Fame in 1994 but, unbelievably, was knocked off the baseball writers' ballot after one election when he failed to garner any more than 17 of 456 votes.

He had to wait 15 years before he became eligible for veterans' committee consideration and, as a two-decades member of the Hall of Fame's Overview Committee, I would make something of a pest of myself by extolling Simmons' virtues every time his name came up as a candidate from 2010 to 2019.

Three previous times he was named on a veterans' committee. Three times, he didn't get in — although he missed by just one vote in 2017.

Sometime in November, I saw the list of voters for this year's Modern Baseball Era committee which would convene at December's winter meetings in San Diego. I wrote Simmons and told him I thought the committee looked favorable, as one former teammate and another former employer were on it. There were others, too, who knew him and his accomplishments well.

Privately, he said, he thought the committee looked favorable, too.

On the night of Dec. 8, the announcement came: Simmons had been elected with one vote to spare. Instead of lamenting his long wait, he said, "Everything worked out the way it was supposed to."

I hope to be in Cooperstown next July 26.

Rick Hummel's memorable stories of 2019

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