Goodbye, Mr. National

Annie Ryan, Entertainment Editor

   Where’d all the time go? Washington Nationals star first baseman Ryan Zimmerman announced his retirement, ending his 16-season run in the world of Major League Baseball (MLB). 

   The Nationals took Zimmerman in the 2005 draft, going fourth overall. Zimmerman became the Nationals’ third baseman in 2006 and he stayed there full-time through 2013. After spending time in the outfield and infield in 2014, he took over at first base in 2015 and stayed there until the end of his career. 

   He retires as the Nationals’ career leader in games (1,799), runs (963), hits (1,846), total bases (3,159), doubles (417), home runs (284) and RBIs (1,061). Zimmerman hit .243 with 14 home runs and 46 RBIs last season and retires with a career batting average of .277. A two-time All-Star, Zimmerman helped the franchise win its World Series championship in 2019. He had hits in 10 of the Nationals’ 16 postseason games in 2019 and hit the first World Series home run in Nationals franchise history. Zimmerman also was a two-time Silver Slugger winner (2009, 2010) and a Gold Glove winner (’09).

   Zimmerman had 11 walk-off home runs in his career and is one of only 10 players in major league history to have that many game-ending homers, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. Eight of those 10 players have been honored in the Hall of Fame.           

   “Although my baseball career has come to an end, my family and I will continue to be heavily involved in the DMV community,” Zimmerman stated in his retirement announcement. In 2006, Zimmerman established the “ziMS Foundation” to raise awareness for programs to help those with multiple sclerosis. The foundation has raised a total of $3.5 million since then. Longtime Nationals fans will always consider Mr. National to be the face of this franchise and will miss him tremendously.