The invitation was to spring training 1988 with the big club, Houston.
"It was an ego booster," Simms told the Orlando Sentinel after being assigned to the Florida State League in April 1988. "It was an opportunity to be around big-league players and learn from them how they approach different situations. Exposure to players and coaches lets me show I can play and lets them know that I'll be battling for a spot in a year or two."
It took a little over two years, but by September 1990, Simms was in the majors, a place he would make a stop in every year except one for the next decade.
Drafted out of high school in the sixth round of the 1985 draft, Simms wouldn't make AA until 1989. On the way, he had his big home run year in 1987 as a Tourist in Asheville.
In 1990, in Tucson, Simms hit .273 in 124 games, earning his spot on the September Astro roster.
Simms never really became a major league starter. He broke 80 games played once, in 1998. He hit 16 home runs that year, also a career high. 1993 was his only year in the 90s where he failed to make a major league roster. He spent that year with the Padres system, then signed with Pittsburgh and returned to Houston in 1994.
By March 2000, Simms was readying for another campaign with the Rangers. He joined teammates on a promotional tour to a YMCA, watching Gabe Kapler play a pickup game with some kids.
But Simms wouldn't return to the major league roster that year or any roster. A degenerative hip condition forced him into retirement.
These days, Simms is still making appearances with the Rangers, speaking at a Rangers youth camp this past November.
- Orlando Sentinel, April 17, 1988: Osceola's Simms Uses Power Surge To Advance
- Ranger Rundown, Aug. 20, 2006: Unknown Pleasures
Cards Reviewed: 38/880 - 4.3%
Major Leaguers: 22 - 58%
Never Made the Majors: 16 - 42%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 8
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 14