Two-time All-Star Ryan Zimmerman announced his retirement Tuesday after 17 years with the Washington Nationals.
The franchise’s first draft pick after relocating from Montreal in 2005, Zimmerman won a World Series with the club in 2019 and is the Nationals’ all-time leader in games (1,799), runs (963), hits (1,846), doubles (417), home runs (284) and RBIs (1,061).
At age 37, Zimmerman said he is ready for the next phase of his life and spending more time with his family.
“At this point in my career, it’s not about making money,” he said, per The Washington Post. “It’s more the weighing of how much time it takes for me to put in the stuff behind the scenes that lets me still be successful on the field that people don’t really know about. And it’s worth it if you have a chance to win the World Series.
“For me, with the four kids at home now, it’s kind of like: I’ve accomplished a lot. I’ve accomplished more than I’ve ever wanted to accomplish. At this point, do I really have the 100 percent drive and commitment to do all the extracurricular stuff that I expect of myself to play the game?”
Drafted No. 4 overall out of the University of Virginia in 2005, Zimmerman broke into the big leagues that season as a third baseman. He won a Gold Glove at third in 2009 before moving to first base in 2015.
He made the National League All-Star teams in 2009 and 2017 and won Silver Slugger awards in 2009 and 2010. In 2011, Zimmerman won the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award as the player who best exemplifies the spirit and character of the award’s namesake.
“Ryan will forever be Mr. National,” Washington principal owner Mark D. Lerner said in a statement. “From the walk-off home runs, to carrying the World Series Trophy down Constitution Avenue, to the final day of the 2021 regular season when our fans gave him an ovation that none of us will soon forget, Ryan gave us all 17 years of amazing memories. We wish him, Heather, their four beautiful children and the rest of their family nothing but the best in all of their future endeavors.”
Zimmerman opted out of the 2020 season due to the pandemic and returned in 2021 to bat .243 with 14 homers and 46 RBIs in 110 games. He was a lifetime .277 hitter.
“It was truly an honor to manage and share a clubhouse with Ryan Zimmerman,” manager Dave Martinez said in a statement. “Like many around Major League Baseball, I had a lot of respect for Ryan from watching the way he played and competed as an opponent. It wasn’t until I came to Washington that I learned of his true impact on this organization, the fans and the community. He was a fierce competitor but also a calming presence when we needed it most. Ryan’s numbers and accomplishments speak for themselves, but the way he led by example and was respected not only in our clubhouse but around the game — that is what I will remember most about his career.”
–Field Level Media