Bob Simpson (back row, second from right) with Colorado Springs Sky Sox teammates.
Robert William Simpson
Born: February 12, 1932 (Leamington, Ontario)
Died: August 26, 2014 (Leamington, Ontario)
Bob Simpson was a right-handed pitcher who spent five seasons as a prospect in the lower rungs of the Chicago White Sox system.
In 1949, a 17-year-old Simpson recorded a 17-3 record with the amateur Junior Barons of the Essex County league in Southwestern Ontario. The slim hurler was signed by the White Sox early in the new year.
He was assigned to the Wisconsin Rapids White Sox of the Class-D Wisconsin State League. He went 12-12 with an earned-run average of 3.89, but a strong start early in the season saw him named to the league’s all-star game.
He was promoted to Class-C with the Superior (Wisc.) Blues after spring training in 1951. He went 11-9 over two seasons with the Northern League team.
Simpson had the strongest season of his career with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox in 1953, going 12-9 with a 3.53 ERA. The Sky Sox won the Western League pennant and the Governor’s Cup that season.
He pitched in a single game for the Memphis Chickasaws in 1954. That same season, he was 2-7 in 19 games (nine starts) with the Sky Sox, his final season in Organized Baseball.
The 6-foot-2, 180-pound Simpson showed ability at the plate, hitting .251 over five seasons in the minors. He hit a single home run in his minor career with Wisconsin Rapids as an 18-year-old rookie in 1950.
After returning to Canada, Simpson pitched for the London Majors of the semiprofessional Major Intercounty League in Ontario.
A clothing store clerk in the offseason, he later owned and operated Bob Simpson Fuels Ltd. In his hometown.
On June 4, 1954, Simpson ruined an innovative promotion by the Omaha Grizzlies. Only 474 fans had attended the game the day before, so management offered them all free tickets to the next game. A total of 229 fans took up the offer, swelling attendance to 1,805, but Simpson pitched Colorado Springs to a 4-2 victory by allowing only three hits. He scored three runs himself.