by: Amanda Boyer
The Quincy Mall hosted the Annual Baseball Card Show on Saturday Jan. 28 and Sunday Jan. 29. Ted Simmons and Scott Spiezio made an appearance, which was very exciting for baseball fans, especially St. Louis Cardinal fans.
“Oh, it’s definitely Cardinal territory here, you can feel it,” Zach Karl said, a Quincy resident. “It’s pretty cool, when players come to Quincy it’s just a different kind of atmosphere.”
Ted Simmons, a former St. Louis Cardinal catcher, signed autographs from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Scott Spiezio signed autographs from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.
The Annual Baseball Card Show featured baseball cards, as well as a variety of sports memorabilia, that appealed to many baseball fans.
“I think bringing these players here it really brings the community together for the love of the game. I mean when I was a kid I was watching Scott Spiezio on tv, it’s just cool,” Karl said.
Simmons, a St. Louis Cardinal Hall-of-Famer, was a catcher and a first-basemen since he was drafted by the Cardinals in 1967, he was only 19 years old. Simmons played 13 years as a Cardinal until being traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in 1981. He played for 5 years and was traded to the Atlanta Braves in 1986. He ended his professional career in 1988.
After retiring Simmons was the General Manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1992. His other titles include: Director of Player Development for the Cardinals and the San Diego Padres, and a scout for the Cleveland Indians and the Atlanta Braves. Simmons was inducted into the Cardinal Hall of Fame in 2015.
“The mall does see an increase in business from the events the mall puts on,” Mike Narug, local business manager, said. “I think it’s really cool to see players of this caliber up close and personal.”
In Simmons 21 year career, as a catcher and first basemen, he played in 2,456 games, 2,472 hits, 248 homeruns, and hit at a career average of .285. Simmons was also an 8-time All Star, a Silver Slugger Award winner in 1980, and caught two no-hitters: Bob Gibson in 1971 and the first of Bob Forsch’s in 1978.
Scott Spiezio, a former St. Louis Cardinal, was a first, second, and third basemen after being drafted by the Oakland Athletics in 1993. His professional career started in 1996.
Spiezio played 12 years in the major league playing for: Oakland Athletics (1996-1999), Anaheim Angels (2000-2003), Seattle Mariners (2004-2005), and the St. Louis Cardinals (2006-2007).
Spiezio played in 1,273 games, 996 hits, 119 homeruns, and he hit at a career average of .255. Spiezio was also a two-time World Series Champion: Anaheim Angels, 2002, and St. Louis Cardinals, 2006.
Narug is glad to have events like these at the Quincy Mall and hopes it continues.
“Since I’m not originally from here I’m not into the Cardinals as much as others, so it would be nice to see more diversity in the players, maybe current players or even broadcasters from different teams or sports would be interesting (too).” said Narug.