Ryan Zimmerman announces retirement after 16 seasons with Nationals

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Ryan Zimmerman, the Washington Nationals‘ first-ever draftee back in 2005, announced his retirement Tuesday after 16 seasons in the majors.

After moving from Montreal to D.C. for the 2005 MLB season, the newly-minted Nationals (formerly Expos) selected Zimmerman fourth-overall in their inaugural draft. Then a 20-year-old infielder at the University of Virginia, Zimmerman was called up to the Nationals for the final month of the 2005 campaign.

He finished second in National League Rookie of the Year voting the following season, and soon he’d established himself as a heart-of-the-order hitter with a knack for the dramatic. Among the nicknames accrued in his career are “Mr. National,” and “Mr. Walk-Off.”

Playing only for Washington throughout his lengthy career, Zimmerman was twice named to the All-Star team, while winning a Gold Glove Award and two Silver Sluggers. He also helped the Nationals to their 2019 World Series title, capping a rollercoaster season in which Washington had once been 12 games below .500.

“We have won together, lost together and, honestly, grown up together,” Zimmerman said in his retirement announcement, addressed to D.C. “Through all of the achievements and the failures you always supported me, and for that I will forever be grateful.”

Zimmerman, 37, became a free agent at the close of the 2021 season. In 1,799 career games, he amassed 1,846 hits, 1,061 RBIs and an .816 OPS (116 OPS+). He also earned nearly $140 million.

He noted in his retirement statement that he and his family will “continue to be heavily involved in the (D.C./Maryland/Virginia) community,” with a continuation of some of his current charitable efforts and a commitment to start new ones.

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