It was only a matter of time. During MASN’s broadcast of Monday night’s Grapefruit League game, Washington Nationals Managing Principal Owner, Mark Lerner, announced that the team would be celebrating Ryan Zimmerman this June, including retiring his #11 on Friday, June 18th.
“June 17th and 18th, we are going to honor Mr. National, Ryan Zimmerman,” Lerner said, “and have a special giveaway on the 17th, and 18th we’re going to retire his number, in front of a big sell-out crowd to honor him.
“We’re really excited about it, he deserves it, and we’re honored to be able to do it.”
Zimmerman officially announced his retirement earlier this year, on February 15th, after a 16-year major league career, all of them with the Nationals.
“We’re really excited about it. He deserves it, and we’re honored to be able to do it.”— Nationals on MASN (@masnNationals) March 22, 2022
Ryan Zimmerman will be the first Nationals player to have his jersey number retired. https://t.co/yCcHJf6vin pic.twitter.com/uj5ergdP4W
Unsurprisingly, Zimmerman led the franchise in pretty much every major category, including games played, at-bats, hits, doubles, home runs, RBIs, and runs scored.
There are probably a lot more that would make this piece much longer.
It’s not just statistically that Zimmerman’s number being retired was a no-brainer, it was his meaning to the franchise and the community.
He was the first draft pick for the franchise after its move to the nation’s capital and many of the team’s fans grew up with Zimmerman on the field. Even when they were a 100-loss team, the fans could always count on Zimmerman to play hard and produce for their Nats.
“In my mind, I’ve been planning it for a couple of years because we didn’t know when he was going to make the announcement,” Lerner joked.
“We’re working with our crew and the Nationals and Ryan and Heather to work out all the details.
“It should be a very special weekend and that Saturday game is going to be awesome.”
The date of June 18th also has some significance to Zimmerman and the Nationals.
In 2006, on that same date, Zimmerman walked off the New York Yankees at RFK Stadium for the first of his 11 career walk-off home runs, tied for eighth-most in major league history.
Expect emotions to run high that weekend in June and ticket prices to soar with several Nationals fans wanting to help honor the franchise legend as his number #11 is celebrated...