Ryan Zimmerman, who has been a Washington National as long as this edition of the franchise has existed, is calling it a career.
After 16 major league seasons and 1,799 games, a player known as “Mr. National” because he was the organization’s first ever draft pick, in its inaugural year of 2005, announced his retirement Tuesday through his agency.
“We lost 100 games (twice), we won 90 games (four times), we moved into a new stadium, we failed to get out of the first round of the playoffs (four grueling times), and, of course, we experienced the magical World Series run of 2019 that no one will ever forget,” Zimmerman wrote in a section addressed to Nats fans in the statement through CAA.
The 37-year-old was the No. 4-overall pick out from the University of Virginia, growing up as a longtime AAU teammate of David Wright’s. He cracked into the majors in 2005 and hit his first homer a season later — against the Mets’ Billy Wagner in the ninth inning, tying a game that Washington rallied to win.
Zimmerman was an All-Star in 2009, when he also won a Gold Glove, and 2017. He was fixture at third base for the Nationals and well-regarded for a strong arm that would abandon him. He had to move off third following shoulder surgery before the 2013 season, and he was a first baseman through the latter half of his career.
Zimmerman was rarely excellent but always was constant and beloved in Washington. He has played more games, collected more hits (1,846), knocked more homers (284) and scored more runs (963) than anyone in Nationals/Expos history.