About Bert Simmons
Few individuals knew that the tall, distinguished, and humble Simmons spent his young adult years playing baseball with some of the best players in the Negro Leagues. After graduating from high school in 1941, Bert Simmons joined the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) which started as a jobs creation program under President Roosevelt. That same year he relocated to Raleigh, N.C. with the CCC and began playing semi-pro baseball as a pitcher and outfielder for the Raleigh Tigers from 1941-1942.
Throughout the years that followed, Bert Simmons continued playing baseball even while serving in the U.S. Army and later while attending college at North Carolina A&T. In addition to the Raleigh Tigers, Simmons played for the Greensboro Red Wings (1946-1948); the Ashville Blues (1949); and finally the Baltimore Elite Giants (1950). Simmons could play all nine positions in baseball, however, it was as a pitcher that he established a reputation for his "knuckleball."
In 2008 when each Major League Baseball team drafted one former Negro League Baseball Player to represent the many thousands of others who never played in the Major Leagues, the Baltimore Orioles selected 84-year-old Simmons. Over his years spent playing and coaching the game, Simmons collected many remnants of the by-gone era of segregated baseball and created a museum in the basement of his home.