Ryan Zimmerman Celebrates Jersey Number Retirement With Nats on Saturday
Ryan Zimmerman, also known as Mr. National and Employee #11, will have his jersey retired this weekend for the second time this spring.
After 16 seasons with the Washington Nationals and three at the University of Virginia, Ryan Zimmerman’s number eleven will never be worn again by a member of either team. There will be an official jersey retirement ceremony for Zimmerman at 3: 10pm ahead of Washington’s game against the Phillies on Saturday. Zimmerman is the first Cavalier or National to have his jersey retired.
Zimmerman spent his time in Charlottesville, which was crucial in the creation of the UVA baseball team. He set the single-season program record for hits two years in a row, with 90 hits in 2004 and 92 in 2005. Although those records have been broken, Zimmerman’s name is still a frequent reference in the record books. He graduated from UVA with a. 355 average, good for fifth all time at Virginia. His 250 career hits is eighth on the all-time list, which is impressive considering he only played at Virginia for three seasons.
Zimmerman earned First-Team All ACC honors in 2004 and then was Second-Team All-ACC in 2005. He achieved national recognition as a Baseball America Second-Team All-American and a NCBWA Third-Team All-American in 2005, and then was drafted fourth overall by the Washington Nationals in 2005.
In his 16 professional seasons, Zimmerman finished with a . 277 career average with 1,846 hits, 284 home runs, 963 runs, and 1061 RBI. He was a two-time All Star in 2009 and 2017 and he won both a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger in 2009 and a second Silver Slugger in 2010. It is rare to play for one team for your entire career. Zimmerman has reached the top of the records in many categories. He holds the franchise record for hits, total bases and doubles, as well as home runs, RBI, and home runs. Zimmerman’s 11-career walk off home runs are memories that long-time Nationals fans hold dear, especially the one in 2008 in the first game ever played at Nationals Park.
Of course, the highlight of Zimmerman’s career was winning the World Series in 2019. Zimmerman scored a run in the eighth inning against the Brewers with a pinch hit single. This extended the inning and led to Juan Soto scoring the go-ahead run and clearing the bases. Zimmerman homered three runs in game four of the Divisional Series against Los Angeles Dodgers to extend the Nationals’ lead, and force a decisive Game Five. Zimmerman’s home run was the Nationals’ first run in the World Series against Houston. It was a turning point for the team’s first draft pick.
Zimmerman fought with this team through 100-loss seasons and mentored the young players through those tough times. It was amazing to see the joy on his face after he won it all. There is no one more worthy than him. Ryan Zimmerman made a significant impact on his teammates and on the field at the professional and collegiate levels.
Ryan Zimmerman and his family traveled to Charlottesville for a weekend series against Virginia Tech on a warm Saturday afternoon in April. The Wahoo faithful welcomed him warmly and Disharoon Park was able see the jersey retirement ceremony. Zimmerman spoke after he threw out the first pitch and talked about his love of Charlottesville and UVA, as well the joys of college ball. He encouraged the players to cherish college baseball and to enjoy the moment they were able to.
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Zimmerman is lauded for being a true team leader. The entire room listens when he speaks. His play on the field, his demeanor off it, and all of his work in the D.C. area have earned him respect.
In 2011, Zimmerman won the Lou Gehrig award, given to the MLB player whose character best exemplifies the character of Lou Gehrig. The ziMS Foundation, which supports Multiple Sclerosis treatment, is Zimmerman’s philanthropic legacy. Through fundraising events, the foundation has raised millions of money for MS research and treatment. Zimmerman even used Nationals Park to host “A Night at the Park”, an annual event for his foundation.
Ryan Zimmerman combines talent with intelligence and dedication to build a successful career that will leave a lasting impression on the two cities he has called home. These two teams have given him the highest honor in sports: a jersey retirement.
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The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.