By St. Louis Cardinals Communications
ST LOUIS – The St. Louis Cardinals organization announced Thursday that it will pay tribute to National Baseball Hall of Fame catcher Ted Simmons on Saturday, July 31, before the team’s 6:15 PM game versus the Minnesota Twins. The tribute will be highlighted by the unveiling and dedication of a Ted Simmons statue outside of Busch Stadium and the retirement of “Simba’s” uniform number 23.
“Ted Simmons is one of the finest players to have worn the Birds on the Bat and will forever be a part of Cardinals history,” said Cardinals’ Chairman Bill DeWitt, Jr. “We are proud to honor Ted before his Hall of Fame induction this Fall and add him to the exclusive group of ten individuals who have both a statue outside of Busch Stadium and their uniform number retired. We hope our fans will come out in force to pay tribute to Ted and his family on July 31.”
The tribute will begin at 2:00 PM with the unveiling and dedication of a bronze statue of Ted Simmons outside Busch Stadium at the intersection of 8th Street and Clark Avenue. The statue, completed by St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame sculptor Harry Weber, will join the existing 11 statues outside Busch Stadium and will be the first addition to the group since Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith’s statue was unveiled and dedicated in August 2002. Other statues include Hall of Famers Stan Musial, Rogers Hornsby, George Sisler (St. Louis Browns), James “Cool Papa” Bell (St. Louis Stars), Dizzy Dean, Enos Slaughter, Red Schoendienst, Bob Gibson, Lou Brock and broadcaster Jack Buck.
The tribute will continue with a pregame ceremony starting at approximately 6:00 PM in which the organization will officially retire Simmons’ number 23. Simmons will become the 15th individual associated with the organization to have his number retired and first since Hall of Fame Manager Tony La Russa’s number 10 was retired in May 2012. The ceremony will open with Ted riding around the warning track in a Ford Mustang and conclude with Simmons throwing out a ceremonial first pitch.