May 5, 2014
Harry Simmons, known as Mr.Baseball to many fans, players and executives of the sport. After a stint in World War II, Harry moved to Cartierville, Que. where he worked as right-hand man to International League president Frank Shaughnessy (who was elected to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 1983 ). One of Simmonss jobs with the IL was drawing up team schedules. He became such an expert at the task that he was hired on a freelance basis to compile the major league schedules for the National and American Leagues. After the IL Montreal franchise folded Simmons moved into the Major League commissioners office where he worked for 17 years continuing to produce the schedules. He maintained a Montreal residence for many years.
Established as a historian and writer, Simmons researched 19th century baseball extensively. He launched and wrote the weekly feature -So You Think You Know Baseball- which ran in the Saturday Evening Post from 1949-61 and later with Baseball Digest. His book of the same name was a best seller. For many years he wrote the entry for baseball in the Encyclopaedia Brittanica.
At baseballs annual winter meeting in 1979, held in Toronto, Simmons was honoured as King of Baseball -He was a wonderful and very knowledgeable man- said Rene Lemyre, general manager of the International League Montreal Royals from 1955-59. -Anything regarding baseball he knew-. It is an understatement to say that he was widely accepted and respected as a baseball authority.
Harry Simmons passed away in Jan. 1998.