Phillies Wall of Famer Curt Simmons died at his Ambler, Pa., home on Tuesday at 93 years of age. He was the last surviving member of the 1950 “Whiz Kids” team.
One of the greatest pitchers in franchise history, the lefty posted a record of 115-110 with 109 complete games, 18 shutouts and a 3.66 ERA in 325 games (263 starts) in 13 seasons with the club. Simmons tied for the major league lead with six shutouts in 1952 and logged a career-best 21 complete games in 1954. Among all pitchers in franchise history, he ranks fifth in wins and innings (1,939.2), sixth in games started, tied for sixth in shutouts and ninth in strikeouts (1,052). He was selected to three All-Star teams with the Phillies in 1952-53 and 1957, earning the starting nods in both the 1952 and 1957 Midsummer Classics.
Born Curtis Thomas Simmons on May 19, 1929, in Egypt, Pa., he was a graduate of Whitehall High School in Pennsylvania, leading the school club to three consecutive Lehigh Valley championships. He also won two state championships with the Coplay American Legion team, and in 1945 played in both the Pennsylvania American Legion All-Star Game at Shibe Park and East-West American Legion All-Star Game at the Polo Grounds, where he was managed by Babe Ruth.
After impressing in an exhibition game against the Phillies in his hometown of Egypt on June 2, 1947, the Phillies signed him on June 16 to one of the highest bonuses at the time. They outbid eight other major league teams, the last of which were Boston and Detroit.
Simmons enjoyed a 20-year career in the majors, pitching for the Phillies (1947-50; 1952-60), St. Louis Cardinals (1960-66), Chicago Cubs (1966-67) and California Angels (1967). A member of the pennant-winning “Whiz Kids” team, Simmons missed part of the 1950 season, including the World Series, serving in the National Guard during the Korean War. He also missed the entire 1951 season while fulfilling his military commitment.
In his 20 major league seasons, the southpaw was 193-183 with 163 complete games, 36 shutouts and a 3.54 ERA in 569 career appearances (462 starts). He won a World Series in 1964 with the Cardinals, making two starts in that Fall Classic.
Following his playing career, Simmons briefly returned to the Phillies in an instructional role in the minors in March 1970. He then spent most of his post-playing days managing the Limekiln Golf Club in Ambler, which he owned with Robin Roberts.
A 1993 inductee into the Phillies Wall of Fame, Simmons was first selected to the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 1968 and later the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.
Simmons is survived by his two sons, Timothy and Thomas, and daughter, Susan. He was preceded in death by his wife of more than 60 years, Dorothy, in 2012.
Funeral arrangements are pending.