Part One or What Do the Kids Call Him?
When I started my first Washington Nationals blog (which is linked right over there>>>)... each and every time rookie third baseman Ryan Zimmerman succeeded at the plate I wrote, "Ryan ZIMMERMAN! doubles to left," or "Ryan ZIMMERMAN! gets the intentional walk..." as an exaggerated and slightly obnoxious way of celebrating each accomplishment in a way that only a Nationals fan could enjoy.
I had started the nickname trend several days earlier in 2006, when I started to chronicle the exploits of Chad Cordero, by noting each time Cordero recorded a save, that he did so beneath the shadow of the flattest cap brim in baseball. (And back even further was Alfonso soriANO!! who may have truly started the trend, but my memory of Soriano's time in DC has been wiped from my mind, like that Vladi-guy??)
...Cordero's continued success resulted in his eventually earning the nickname of the "Flat-Brimmed Closer" so for example, at that point..."soriANO! could have hit a home run, followed by Ryan ZIMMERMAN's double that gave the Nationals the lead, which they turned over to the Flat-Brimmed Closer Chad Cordero who recorded yet another save."
But then the former DCDaily struck catchphrase gold. July 1, 2006. Washington hosts Tampa Bay. 2-1 D-Rays in the first. Ryan Zimmerman singles in Royce Clayton, or as I wrote at the time, "The Kids Call Him 'Zim!' Ryan Zimmerman RBI single on an 0-2 hanger."
The next day it happened in the home half of the first, "The Kids Call Him 'Zim' Ryan Zimmerman strokes a two-run home run just over the wall in right." And a catchphrase was born. But July 4th 2006 changed it all.
Washington welcomes the Florida Marlins on Fourth of July in America. Florida leads 4-3 after eight, and Ryan Zimmerman provides the fireworks:
"Chad Cordero...strikes out Hanley Ramirez...to give the
Nationals a chance in the ninth...the Nationals will send
Brian Schneider, Robert Fick, and Alfonso Soriano to the plate
in bottom of the ninth against Marlins reliever Joe Borowski.
Schneider flies out to left. Fick slices a single into left.
Soriano pops up to short center for the second ou...it drops,
no one can reach it, Fick safe at second, Soriano on at first.
Jose Vidro flies out to left. Two outs. THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!
RYAN ZIMMERMAN WALK OFF HOME RUN ! THE NATIONALS
WIN! THE NATIONALS WIN! THE NATIONALS WIN !!!!!!!!!"
The Kids went on to call Ryan Zimmerman by his nickname 25 more times that season as the twenty-one year old third baseman finished the season batting .287 with 20 HR's 47 doubles and 110 RBI's. A star and a catchphrase were born.
In 2007 it was altered slightly to read, "THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!! THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!!!" to accomodate the growing popularity of Ryan Zimmerman, and the nickname is matched in popularity only by the "Flat-Brimmed Closer" moniker that Chad Cordero has succeeded under for two seasons.
Both catchphrases will be featured prominently in coverage of the 2008 Washington Nationals, so it's best you familiarize yourself with the terminology now, so that when the season starts you'll be prepared. Also, "Flat-Brimmed Closer" and "THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!! THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!! t-shirts will be available soon, you can place your orders in the COMMENT section...