The directive of the St. Louis Cardinals they plan honor their legendary catcher Ted Simmons through a ceremony pre-game in which a statue will be unveiled with his image and Your No. 23 will be retired on July 31, the club announced Thursday.
Just over a month later, who is also nicknamed “Simba” will be formally inducted into the Cooperstown Hall of Fame.
The Simmons statue will be the 12th sculpture installed outside of Busch Stadium, and the first to be erected by the club since the unveiling of the Ozzie Smith statue in 2002. The Simmons effigy will also be the first dedicated since the opening of Busch Stadium. III in 2006.
With the retirement of No. 23 the Cardinals will now have 15 numbers retired, along with Jackie Robinson’s universally retired No. 42. The most recent number to be retired was Hall of Fame helmsman Tony La Russa’s No. 10, retired in May 2012.
Simmons spent 13 years in the Cardinals uniform before being sent to Milwaukee. Six of his eight seasons in which he was called to the All-Star Game were in St. Louis, and now Simmons is considered one of the best offensive receivers and switch hitters of all time.
He had offensive numbers of .298 / .366 / .459 and .824 OPS in the 13 years he played in St. Louis, and was behind the plate for two no-hitters – one by Bob Gibson in 1971 and the other by Bob. Forsch in 1978. He finished with a .300 batting average seven times. He was inducted into the Cardinals Hall of Fame in 2015, and the Modern Era Committee sent him to Cooperstown in December.