Ryan Zimmerman announced during the past offseason that he was retiring from his playing career. He won't be making the Hall of Fame or anything, but Zimmerman's career was iconic in the Washington area and now he'll live with the franchise forever in history. The Nationals announced on Monday that they are retiring his No. 11.
Remember, the franchise originated in Montreal as the Expos. The previously-retired numbers for the franchise:
- 8: Gary Carter
- 10: Rusty Staub and Andre Dawson
- 30: Tim Raines
- 42: Jackie Robinson (Robinson's number is retired across all of baseball)
However, the Nationals have been allowing players to wear the Expos' retired numbers since it's a different team. Zimmerman's number will be the first retired for current Nationals' player, other than 42, and it is fitting he's the first.
Zimmerman was taken fourth overall out of the University of Virginia in the 2005 draft, making him the first-ever Nationals first-round pick. He ended up soaring through the minors, playing 20 games in the majors that year and then finishing second in NL Rookie of the Year voting in 2006.
All told, Zimmerman spent 16 years with the Nationals, making two All-Star teams, winning two Silver Sluggers and a Gold Glove. In 1,799 regular-season games, he collected 1,846 hits, 417 doubles, 284 home runs, 1,061 RBI and 963 runs while hitting .277/.341/.475.
Zimmerman was also part of five playoff teams, including the 2019 World Series champion Nationals. He hit .274 in his playoff career and homered in Game 1 of the 2019 World Series.
Given the way the window of his career and the birth of the Nationals coincided, it's not surprising that he's the franchise leader in nearly every major offensive category.
And now, No. 11 forever belongs to Mr. National in D.C.