A native of Egypt, PA, Simmons received one of the largest bonuses paid to a teenager during his day when he signed with the Phillies for $65,000 in 1947. Promoted to the majors at the end of that season, he did not master his control until 1950, when he became a key member of the NL champion Whiz Kids. He went 17-8 that season despite missing more than a month for National Guard training. Because his unit was activated, he missed the World Series. He returned in 1952 to go 14-8 with a league-high six shutouts. In 1953 he missed a month after slicing off part of his left big toe in a lawn mower accident. Released by the Phillies in 1960 after suffering arm trouble the previous season, Simmons signed with the Cardinals and made a successful adjustment from hard thrower to breaking-ball pitcher. In his last winning season, he recorded a career-high 18 victories for the 1964 World Champion Cardinals. He allowed the Yankees one run in eight innings of WS Game Three, but was not involved in the decision; in the sixth inning of Game Six, he gave up home runs to Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle on consecutive pitches, and lost.