Jason Simontacchi will be added to the Frontier League Hall of fame on Saturday, July 27th. Simontacchi will be the first Springfield Capital to be inducted. He will be among the last induction ceremony for the 6th class of the Frontier League Hall of Fame. Former Gateway Grizzlies catcher, Landon Hernandez will also be inducted that evening.
“It is a huge compliment and I like to think it has to do with my play on the field, but also the person I am trying to be. I try to spread light on the game, as much as I can,” Simontacchi expressed on his induction into the Frontier League Hall of Fame. He went on to say, “It’s very humbling, because you’re not thinking of accolades or anything along the way, but, people took notice of my work ethic.”
The Kansas City Royals drafted Simontacchi in 1996 out of San Jose State University. He joined the Capitals in 1998, where he dominated for one year. Following his 1998 season, the Pittsburgh Pirates purchased his contract. Simontacchi ultimately made his way to the St. Louis Cardinals in 2002. He was a part of the 2004 St. Louis Cardinals, who won the National League Championship, and went to the World Series. He finished his MLB career with a 26-17 record, an ERA of 5.09 and struck out 191 batters.
Simontacchi’s had a impressive 1998 season. He finished with a 10-2 record, a 2.95 ERA, and struck out 92 in 110 innings. His led Springfield to their second championship in three years. He was named Pitcher of the Year. Commenting on his 1998 season Simontacchi said, “I didn’t know how good of a season I was having until after we won the Championship.”
The former Manager of the Capitals, Mal Fichman said, “Simontacchi was a great player and an excellent person who deserved to get to the Major Leagues.” He went on to recount2 Simontacchi’s work ethic saying, “He always was the first in the building doing his work to get better every day.”
The Frontier League’s Rookie of the Year award is named for Simontacchi. His name was added to the award after he was named the National League Pitcher of the Month, in June in 2002. He was also named the Cardinals Rookie of the Year in that season.
Simontacchi wanted to encourage all the players in the Frontier League. He said, “If you have a Jersey on your shoulders you have a chance to make it to the big leagues.”
The induction ceremony will take place at GCS Ballpark prior to the game between the Grizzlies and the Joliet Slammers. The game will start at 7:05 PM CT. The gates open at 6:05 PM CT.
For more information and to purchase tickets, head over to Gateway Grizzlies tickets page.