In some baseball cities, after Cardinal Ted Simmons took off his catcher’s mitt, he put on a pair of white gloves.
He became friends with a museum docent near Philadelphia, a curator in Houston. They’d let him wear gloves to examine fine pottery or open an antique desk or cabinet to see it up close. “I wanted to hold that Paul Revere tankard in my hand,” he said.
In exchange, Simmons left tickets at will call so his museum friends could go to the Phillies’ or Astros’ stadium for a game.
A fair trade for a guy who, off the field, scouted art, not hitters.
Back home in St. Louis, he and his wife, Maryanne Ellison Simmons, would discuss and research art they wanted to buy. A married team for 50 years, their passion meant a home filled with beloved furniture and artwork.
Not a framed jersey to be seen.
“Collecting art enabled me and Maryanne to have a life separate from baseball,” Simmons said. Sports memorabilia was kept in the attic.
Now they are sharing their art: The St. Louis Art Museum has acquired 833 works, mostly contemporary prints but including drawings, collages and photographs.
Read the whole thing.
Although Ted Simmons also played for the St. Louis Cardinals, or so I heard, and lives in St. Louis, c’mon, man, to a boy growing up in the housing projects in Milwaukee in the early 1980s, he was a Brewer and was on the one team (one!) that went to the World Series. And lost to the Cardinals. Oh, how a Milwaukee boy born to a woman from St. Louis suffered. As did the neighbors on either side of the apartment in which we lived, as she would bang on the walls with a plastic baseball bat to let them know the Cardinals had scored a run.