Part of rivalry with Cubs, Simmons back at Busch

Part of rivalry with Cubs, Simmons back at Busch

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals have no shortage of great players in their history to showcase. Before Game 2 of the National League Division Series vs. the Cubs on Saturday, they reached out to one of the best-hitting catchers they've had in Ted Simmons to throw the ceremonial first pitch.

Freshly inducted into the Cardinals' Hall of Fame in August -- along with the late Curt Flood and Bob Forsch -- Simmons spent the first 13 seasons of his 21-season career in St. Louis from 1968-1980.

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During that span, Simmons was one of the better switch-hitters of his era, a six-time All-Star with a .298 average and 1,704 hits that included 172 home runs as a Cardinal. He also caught two no-hitters.

Game Date Results
Gm 1 Oct. 9 STL 4, CHC 0
Gm 2 Oct. 10 CHC 6, STL 3
Gm 3 Oct. 12 CHC 8, STL 6
Gm 4 Oct. 13 CHC 6, STL 4

Simmons was also front and center for a nasty 1974 benches-clearing brawl vs. the Cubs and slugger Bill Madlock that has recently resurfaced via online video archives. It was just one more indelible moment in a great rivalry between the two teams.

Before Simmons took to the mound, the Budweiser Clydesdales paraded along the warning track for two laps.

A rousing rendition of the national anthem was performed by Retired Navy Petty Officer First Class Generald Wilson, while the colors were presented by The United States Marines from the St. Louis recruiting station.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.