The case for his induction:

As is the case for Lou Whitaker and Dwight Evans, a lot of Simmons’ value came in statistical categories that weren’t appreciated nearly as much during his career as they would be later, leading him to be underrated.

On-base percentage was huge, as he notched a .348 OBP in his career and a .367 OBP during his best seasons, 1971-1980. Durability was another one that was not as admired as much during Simmons’ time. Catching is the toughest position physically speaking but he racked up 150+ games behind the plate an astounding eight times. If that were to happen today we’d be calling the guy a freak of nature. At the time it was noted, but perhaps not as much as it should’ve been.

Not that everything he did flew under the radar. Simmons finished with more than 100 RBI in three seasons and 90+ RBI eight times. He complied 2,472 hits. He was an All-Star eight times. He won a Silver Slugger award and got at least a few MVP votes in seven different seasons. He was not just a good hitter for a catcher. He was a legitimately good hitter for most any position, finishing with a career batting line of .285/.348/.437, giving him an OPS+ of 118 for his career, which is excellent for a catcher.

His offensive production and his durability made him one of nine catchers with 50 or more WAR in their careers. The other eight — Johnny Bench, Gary Carter, Pudge Rodríguez, Carlton Fisk, Gabby Hartnett, Yogi Berra, Mike Piazza and Bill Dickey — are all in the Hall of Fame.