Round One S32

Al Simmons Swinging

Well, Christmas Break is over and it’s time to get back into week five of the playoff! This round features Hall-of-Famers Al Simmons, Bill Dickey, and Ross Youngs facing-off against Mickey Vernon, Tommy Corcoran, Bob Boone, Reggie Smith, and Hal Trosky.

The Hitters

Al-Simmons-Card Baseballs Greatest Player Playoff

Nicknamed “Bucketfoot Al” for his unorthodox batting stance – picture a right-handed batter with his left foot pointed at third base – Al Simmons put together a twenty-year career that included over 300 home runs, almost 3000 hits, and a lifetime batting average of .334. Consistency and quality for a very long time earned him a spot in Cooperstown.

Mickey-Vernon-Card Baseballs Greatest Player Playoff

Mickey Vernon also had a long, productive career. Although he missed a couple of years to serve during World War II, he still managed to compile some solid lifetime statistics: almost 2500 hits – 490 of them doubles – and a lifetime .286 batting average

Tommy-Corcoran-Card Baseballs Greatest Player Playoff

Spanning the decades before and after 1900, Tommy Corcoran played through the transition from barehanded fielding to gloves. His eighteen-year career primarily the result of being a good fielding shortstop, he also managed to pick up 2400 hits, 155 of them triples, along the way. After his playing career, he became an umpire.

Bill-Dickey-Card Baseballs Greatest Player Playoff Card

Bill Dickey played in eight World Series in his eighteen-year career with the New York Yankees. Despite losing two years to service during World War II, Dickey compiled a .313 lifetime batting average while toiling behind the plate and earned election to the Hall-of-Fame in 1954.

Ross-Youngs-Card Baseballs Greatest Player Playoff

One of the lucky players selected for the Hall-of-Fame by the Frankie Frisch-led Veterans Committee in 1972, Ross Youngs nevertheless had quite a career. He hit .322 lifetime in 10-years in the majors and died at age 29 after a long kidney ailment.

Bob-Boone-Card Baseballs Greatest Player Playoff

The middle of the multi-generational Boone family, Bob Boone put in 22 years behind the plate, picking up seven Gold Gloves along the way.

Reggie-Smith-Card Baseballs Greatest Player Playoff

Reggie Smith had the misfortune to play a large portion of his career in the offensively challenged 1970s. Despite that, he still hit 314 home runs and batted .287, while being selected for seven All-Star teams. Not too shabby.

Hal-Trosky-Card Baseballs Greatest Player Playoff Card

In an eleven-year career shortened by migraines, Hal Trosky still managed to clout 228 home runs, drive in over 1000 runs, and bat a healthy .302.

The Results

Al Simmons9757.630*WON*
Ross Youngs9658.6231.0
Hal Trosky8866.5719.0
Bill Dickey8668.55811.0
Mickey Vernon8074.51917.0
Reggie Smith7876.50619.0
Tommy Corcoran51103.33146.0
Bob Boone40114.26057.0

This was an interesting season. Although he won his last 6 games, Ross Youngs couldn’t catch Al Simmons, who won his last 4. Also, the top 6 teams all finished above .500 on the year. Corcoran, who squeaked in based on his lifetime triple and stolen base totals and Boone, who qualified due to career games played, each lost over 100 games.


One Hal Trosky had a 3-HR game and 4 of the 6 no-hitters were thrown by Tom Seavers, two of which were perfect games and one of which missed being perfect due to an error. In Cy Young’s no-no, he was perfect through 8 innings before hitting the leadoff batter in the ninth.

Simmons, Youngs, and Trosky are joined by Bill Dickey, Mickey Vernon, and Reggie Smith in Round 3. Corcoran and Boone will see if they can make it out of the consolation round.

Tim Bruno

Tim has been a baseball fan for most of his life and has played a great deal of baseball and softball over the years. Although his playing days are long behind him, he remembers back when he was an extremely fast catcher with an extremely bad arm. He has been playing Strat-o-Matic baseball since he was 14. Tim is currently living in southwest France and writes A LOT about coffee at He has also written Procaffeination: A Coffee Lover's Dictionary, which will be available soon. You can find out more about Tim's writing at and if you want to contact him about the tournament, drop him an email at

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