Si Simmons, the former Negro leagues baseball player who was believed to be the longest-living professional ballplayer in history, died Sunday in at a retirement home in St. Petersburg, Fla. He was 111.
His death was announced by a spokeswoman for the retirement home.
A Philadelphia native, Simmons was a left-handed pitcher for the local Germantown Blue Ribbons beginning in either 1912 or 1913, in the primordial and poorly recorded days of organized black baseball. He played for Germantown and other clubs for many years after that, including the New York Lincoln Giants of the Eastern Colored League in 1926 as well as the Negro National League’s Cuban Stars in 1929.
The fact that Simmons was still alive was unknown to baseball’s avid research community until the summer of 2006, when a genealogist discovered he was living in the St. Petersburg, Fla., nursing home.