Don Zimmer
American baseball manager
Don Zimmer
Donald William Zimmer is a former infielder, manager, and coach in Major League Baseball (MLB), currently serving as a senior advisor to the Tampa Bay Rays baseball organization. Zimmer has been involved in professional baseball since 1949. Zimmer signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers as an amateur free agent in 1949.
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Honoring Rachel Robinson, Baseball Pioneer and Civil Rights Activist
Huffington Post - over 2 years
On Sunday, Rachel Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Reliquary's Shrine of the Eternals, along with Dizzy Dean and Don Zimmer. Jim Bouton, former major league pitcher and author of the iconoclastic book Ball Four, has called the Reliquary a "people's Hall of Fame." It celebrates baseball's rebels and renegades. I had the privilege to introduce the induction of Mrs. Robinson at Sunday's ceremony at the Pasadena Public Library. Below is my introduction. It is my pleasure to introduce the induction of Rachel Robinson into the Shrine of the Eternals. It will be accepted by Delano Robinson, Rachel's sister-in-law and a long-time Pasadena resident. Rachel Robinson was voted into the Shrine the first time she was on the ballot - a rare feat. Her entry completes the cycle about baseball's battle against segregation. Jackie Robinson, Josh Gibson, and Lester Rodney (the sports editor of the Daily Worker who was an early champion of baseball's integration) have already been ele ...
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Huffington Post article
Former Cubs manager Zimmer dies at 83: 'The game was his life'
Chicago Tribune - over 2 years
Don Zimmer, nicknamed 'Popeye' for his strength and big cheeks, died Wednesday at the age of 83.
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Chicago Tribune article
Len Berman: Top 5 Sports Stories
Huffington Post Sports - about 4 years
Happy Thursday everyone, here's my Top 5 for January 17, 2013 from Len Berman at 1. Quick Hits The story of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o's dead girlfriend is a hoax. Oregon's Chip Kelly is the new Philadelphia Eagles coach. The IOC strips Lance Armstrong of his 2000 bronze medal as his interview with Oprah Winfrey airs tonight. Alex Rodriguez undergoes hip surgery. He won't return to the Yankees until July at the earliest. They really really like them. The Baltimore Orioles give contract extensions to manager Buck Showalter and Executive VP of Baseball Operations Dan Duquette through 2018. 2. Upon Further Review Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o played this football season with a heavy heart. His grandmother died and hours later his girlfriend died from leukemia after a serious car accident. Except for one minor detail. According to Deadspin the girlfriend never existed. After the Deadspin story came out, Notre Dame said they knew ...
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Huffington Post Sports article
Zimmer to remain with Rays for 2013
Fox News - over 4 years
The Tampa Bay Rays have re-signed Don Zimmer as senior baseball advisor.Zimmer will enter his 10th season with the Rays and 65th in professional baseball
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Fox News article
Red Sox Legend Dies
Huffington Post Sports - over 4 years
BOSTON — Adored by generations of Red Sox fans, Johnny Pesky was so much a part of Boston baseball that the right-field foul pole at Fenway Park was named for him. Pesky, who played, managed and served as a broadcaster for the Red Sox in a baseball career that lasted more than 60 years, died Monday. He was 92. "The national pastime has lost one of its greatest ambassadors," baseball commissioner Bud Selig said. "Johnny Pesky, who led a great American life, was an embodiment of loyalty and goodwill for the Boston Red Sox and all of Major League Baseball." Pesky died just more than a week after his final visit to Fenway, on Aug. 5 when Boston beat the Minnesota Twins 6-4. Yet for many in the legion of Red Sox fans, their last image of Pesky will be from the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park on April 20, when the man known for his warmth, kindness and outstanding baseball career was moved to tears at a pregame ceremony. By then the former shortstop was in a whee ...
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Huffington Post Sports article
Len Berman: Top 5 Sports Stories
Huffington Post Sports - over 4 years
Happy Tuesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for July 10, 2012 from Len Berman at 1. Quick Hits The 83rd All-Star Game will be played tonight in Kansas City. Justin Verlander of Detroit and Matt Cain of the Giants are the starting pitchers. It would have been nice to see knuckleballer R.A. Dickey of the Mets get the nod. Prince Fielder of the Detroit Tigers won his second Home Run Derby, The Knicks reacquire 38-year old Marcus Camby. By the way, if you wonder what his tattoos mean, apparently in Chinese they make no sense. 2. Starry Starry Night? Was everything really better when we were kids, or does it just seem that way. I couldn't wait for the All-Star game. Mays, Mantle, Williams, Aaron all on the same field and that was just for starters. They played most of the game and we actually cared who won. Why? Because they didn't have interleague play? Because every game wasn't on TV? Because it might have been our only chance to see certain stars ...
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Huffington Post Sports article
Baseball's mound etiquette? Cover your mouth!
Cleveland - almost 5 years
When players bury their face in a glove while they talk -- which is the rule, not the exception -- they ensure that what's said on pitcher's mound, stays on pitcher's mound. View full sizeChuck Crow, The Plain DealerVinnie Pestano (left) and Carlos Santana assume the position -- gloves covering mouths -- during this recent mound conversation at Progressive Field. "You don't want anyone reading your lips," says reliever Tony Sipp. Lip Service What are they talking about behind those gloves anyway? Usually how to pitch to a hitter or which set of catcher’s signals to use with a runner on second. But sometimes the conversation has nothing to do with baseball. Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda: “It depends on the game. It depends on the situation. I’ve been out there to rip a guy, I’ve been out there to pat a guy on the back. It’s a situation conversation, I would call it.” Like the situat ...
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Cleveland article
Red Sox are MLB’s hot mess of 2012
Nashua Telegraph - almost 5 years
As meltdowns go, the one suffered by the Red Sox bullpen Saturday sets the bar in a different solar system – or, to paraphrase Bobby Valentine, in a fresh sinkhole leading to the ends of the earth. Ugliness is in the eye of the beholder. Seeing a team bat around in back-to-back innings is remarkable; seeing a team produce 14 runs in those two innings is stunning. Seeing a good team blow a 9-0 lead is a stone cold clue that the team in question isn’t really that good. But the most incredible performance may have come after the game from Valentine, who’d just been booed at decibels unheard since Don Zimmer’s martyrdom in the late 1970s. With the echoes still ringing, the Red Sox skipper made a valiant effort in pursuit of a silver lining, There were, Valentine insisted, good things that happened in Saturday’s 15-9 loss to the Yankees, that will not be buried in the bullpen’s rubble. Felix Doubront pitched six solid innings. The latest incarnation of the Red Sox lineup scored nine runs ...
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Nashua Telegraph article
Is this Red Sox team unlikable not just to Yankees fans, but to Boston fans?
Subway Squawkers - almost 5 years
I just finished watching Saturday's Yankees-Red Sox game on the MLB TV broadcast hooked up to my television. Well worth watching, even though I knew how it ended! What was really obvious was that Bobby Valentine is the designated Boston scapegoat for the team's woes this year -- he was getting booed way more than anybody else on the team. Now, Bobby V certainly isn't perfect, but man, the Red Sox are an extraordinary unlikable team, and the lion's share of the blame ought to go on them, more than the manager. Boston is, what, 10-34 since September 2011? Those are 1962 Mets numbers. That speaks to a real dysfunction. Maybe the players are just mad that their little country club got busted up; maybe they are peeved they can no longer booze it up in the clubhouse or eat fried chicken during games. Boo bleeding hoo. And what a bunch of jerks there are in the Boston clubhouse now -- even more than usual! I was struck by something Friday when watching an interview with Pedro Martinez Friday ...
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Subway Squawkers article
For starters, Rays vs. Jays, with a new-look lineup
Tampa Bay - almost 5 years
UPDATE, 6:01: Maddon said the lineup change is being done primarily to provide more RBI opportunities for Pena and Longoria, as Zobrist is usually a high on-base percentage guy. Also that it should Zobrist, hitting only .216 a different look, without concern of being in an RBI spot. Maddon said he had been thinking about it for a few games. .. B.J. Upton remains on track to return Friday, as he plays a rehab doubleheader tonight in Montgomery, Ala., though Maddon didn't rule out Upton being here on Thursday. When he returns Upton will go back to CF and hit somewhere in the middle of the order. ... Sounds like the Jays are going through the process to have the scoring decision on the first Longoria errror/potential Arencibia hit from Tuesday reviewed. ... Longoria said among the people he heard from after the 3-error game was Don Zimmer, who called this morning to tease him that it won't be his only such game. UPDATE, 5:58: Jays lineup:  Escobar ss Johnson 2b Bautista rf Encarnac ...
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Tampa Bay article
Ron Zimmer
KVNO News - almost 5 years
Happy 70th Birthday, Ron Zimmer!
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KVNO News article
PHOTO: Here's The Awesome (And Creepy) Don Zimmer Teddy Bear The Rays Will Be Giving Away
Business Insider - almost 5 years
<a class="fplink fp-406561" href="/Don+Zimmer+1">Don Zimmer</a>, the former manager of the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs (among others), current coach of the Tampa Bay Rays, and one-time dance partner for Pedro Martinez, will be celebrating his 63rd year in professional baseball this season. And to celebrate the occasion, the Rays will be handing out "Zim Bears" to fans on June 29th. Is it awesome or is it creepy? Yes. But at least it isn't another bobblehead. So +1 for originality.   Please follow Sports Page on Twitter and Facebook. Join the conversation about this story » See Also: You Can Now Smell Like The New York Yankees Let Her Know You Care This Valentine's Day By Getting Her A Baseball Signed By Kris Humphries And Kim Kardashian Moneyball's Billy Beane To Sign 5-Year Extension, Still Makes Less Than Brad Pitt
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Business Insider article
MLB's 10 Biggest Pranksters of All-Time - Bleacher Report
Google News - over 5 years
Once accused Don Zimmer (who has a metal plate in his head as the result of two beanings he suffered as a player) of &quot;disliking all pitchers as a basic prejudice. If you&#39;ve been beaned and nearly killed twice, you&#39;re going to want to make pitchers live
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Google News article
Tampa Bay Rays up next: vs. Texas Rangers -
Google News - over 5 years
Connections: Rangers OF Josh Hamilton is a former Rays top prospect, 3B coach Dave Anderson a former Gibbs High star. … Rays coaches Dave Martinez and Don Zimmer were Rangers. Series history: The Rangers lead 4-2 this season, 2-1 at Tropicana Field,
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Google News article
40 Most Horrifying Moments in Baseball History - Bleacher Report
Google News - over 5 years
Pedro Martinez Portrays Bullfighter Against a Charging Don Zimmer It was a scene straight out of Spain. In Game 3 of the 2003 American League Championship Series between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, Red Sox starting pitcher Pedro Martinez
Article Link:
Google News article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Don Zimmer
  • 2014
    Age 83
    Zimmer died at the age of 83 on June 4, 2014, in Dunedin, Florida, from heart and kidney problems.
    More Details Hide Details On March 24, 2015 the Rays announced they were retiring number 66 in honor of Zimmer.
    During the 2014 season he wore #66,. (In 2014, longtime Tampa Bay third base coach Tom Foley wore Zimmer's name and number on the back of his own uniform in tribute.) Zimmer often noted that every paycheck he'd ever gotten came from baseball, and that he never held a job in any other profession.
    More Details Hide Details Zimmer wrote two books, Zim: A Baseball Life, and The Zen of Zim, that describe his life in baseball, as a player, manager, and coach.
  • 2008
    Age 77
    In December 2008, Zimmer suffered a stroke, causing loss of speech for a week.
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    From the 2008 season to his death, Zimmer was one of the last former Brooklyn Dodgers (besides pitcher Don Newcombe and announcer Vin Scully) still in baseball in some capacity.
    More Details Hide Details Zimmer also served as a member of the advisory board of the Baseball Assistance Team, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to helping former Major League, Minor League, and Negro League players through financial and medical difficulties.
  • 2003
    Age 72
    Many fans know him for his "brawl" with Pedro Martínez in the 2003 American League Championship Series, when Zimmer ran at Martinez and Martinez threw Zimmer to the ground.
    More Details Hide Details Zimmer accepted responsibility for the altercation and was apologetic to his family and the Yankees organization but maintained that Martínez was "one of the most unprofessional players" he had ever known. He was also once hit by a sharply hit foul ball batted by Yankee second baseman Chuck Knoblauch. The next game, Zimmer wore an army helmet with the word "ZIM" painted on the side and the Yankees logo stenciled on the front, which was given to him by Michael Patti, a Madison Ave. advertising executive. That event led to the installation of fences in front of the dugouts at Yankee Stadium, which eventually became commonplace at most MLB ballparks. Zimmer was a senior advisor for the Tampa Bay Rays. His role included assisting the team during spring training and during home games. Every year, Zimmer incremented his uniform number by one to match the number of years he has worked in baseball.
  • 1999
    Age 68
    In 1999, Zimmer filled in for Manager Joe Torre while Torre was recuperating from prostate cancer.
    More Details Hide Details Zimmer went 21–15 while guiding the Yankees during Torre's absence. This record, however, is credited to Torre's managerial record.
  • 1996
    Age 65
    In 1996, he joined the Yankees as their bench coach for their run of four World Series titles.
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  • 1993
    Age 62
    Zimmer was on the first coaching staff of the expansion Colorado Rockies in 1993, and coached with the Rockies through 1995.
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  • 1992
    Age 61
    Later, he returned to Boston for one season as a coach (under manager Hobson) in 1992.
    More Details Hide Details Overall, Zimmer won 906 Major League games as a manager.
  • 1991
    Age 60
    He was fired as Cubs manager during the 1991 season after a slow start.
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  • 1989
    Age 58
    In 1989, he managed the Cubs to a division title and was named Manager of the Year.
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  • 1988
    Age 57
    Zimmer took over as manager of the Cubs in 1988.
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  • 1984
    Age 53
    He served as third base coach for the Chicago Cubs from 1984 to 1986.
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  • 1978
    Age 47
    However, he is best remembered among Red Sox fans for the team's dramatic collapse during the 1978 season.
    More Details Hide Details After leading the American League East by as many as fourteen games, the Red Sox stumbled in August. By early September that lead was reduced to four games. That lead evaporated in a four-game series against the surging New York Yankees which is still known as "the Boston Massacre." The Red Sox spent the last month of the season trading first place with the Yankees, forcing a one-game playoff on October 2. In that game, the Yankees took the lead permanently on a legendary home run by Bucky Dent over the Fenway Park Green Monster. During this stretch, Zimmer made several questionable personnel moves. He never got along with left-handed starting pitcher Bill "Spaceman" Lee. As a matter of fact, his outright hatred of Lee (who had nicknamed Zimmer "The Gerbil.") ran so deep that he gave the starting assignment in the last game of the "Massacre" to rookie Bobby Sprowl, who had only been called up from Triple-A Pawtucket a few days earlier. Reportedly, Carl Yastrzemski pleaded with Zimmer to start Lee, who, along with Luis Tiant, had dominated the Yankees during their careers. (Lee, for example, won 12 out of 17 decisions against the Yankees in 10 years with Boston.) Sprowl allowed four walks, one hit and one run in the first inning before being pulled and made only three more major-league starts.
  • 1976
    Age 45
    The 1976 Red Sox never got on track under Johnson, and he was fired in July.
    More Details Hide Details Zimmer was named acting, then permanent, manager and he led them to a winning record, but a disappointing third-place finish in the AL East. The Red Sox would win more than 90 games in each of Zimmer's three full seasons (1977–1979) as manager, only the second time they had pulled off this feat since World War I. His 1978 team won 99 games, still the fourth-best record in franchise history.
  • 1975
    Age 44
    Working under skipper Darrell Johnson, Zimmer's tenure included a memorable event during Game 6 of the 1975 World Series.
    More Details Hide Details Boston had the bases loaded and none out in the home half of the ninth inning. The score was tied. A soft fly to left field was too shallow to score the winning run, but baserunner Denny Doyle thought Zimmer's shouts of "No! No! No!" were actually "Go! Go! Go!" He ran for home, and was thrown out at the plate. That play, and Dwight Evans' brilliant catch off Joe Morgan in extra innings, set up Carlton Fisk's classic, game-winning home run.
  • 1973
    Age 42
    After being fired by the Padres at the close of the 1973 campaign, he served as the third-base coach for the Boston Red Sox for 2½ seasons.
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  • 1972
    Age 41
    He took a similar job with the San Diego Padres in 1972, but after only 11 games he was called on to replace Preston Gómez as manager, giving Zimmer his first managerial job in the major leagues.
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  • 1971
    Age 40
    In 1971, he joined the Montreal Expos as third base coach.
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  • 1969
    Age 38
    In 1969, he managed the Class-A Key West Padres and the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees in 1970.
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  • 1967
    Age 36
    Zimmer ended his playing career after the 1967 season, and he managed the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians in 1968.
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    Zimmer served as a player-manager for the Cincinnati Reds with the Double-A Knoxville Smokies and Triple-A Buffalo Bisons in 1967.
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  • 1965
    Age 34
    He also caught 33 games in his final season with Washington in 1965.
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    The Senators released Zimmer after the 1965 season, and he played for the Toei Flyers of Nippon Professional Baseball in 1966.
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  • 1963
    Age 32
    The Washington Senators purchased Zimmer from the Dodgers in June 1963.
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    He returned briefly to the Dodgers in 1963, when the Reds traded him to the Dodgers for Scott Breeden.
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  • 1962
    Age 31
    In May 1962, the Mets traded Zimmer to the Cincinnati Reds for Cliff Cook and Bob Miller.
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  • 1961
    Age 30
    After the 1961 season, the expansion New York Mets chose Zimmer from the Cubs as the fifth pick in the premium phase of the 1961 Major League Baseball expansion draft, costing the Mets $125,000.
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  • 1960
    Age 29
    In 1960, the Dodgers traded Zimmer to the Chicago Cubs for Johnny Goryl, Ron Perranoski, Lee Handley and $25,000.
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  • 1958
    Age 27
    In the major leagues, Zimmer remained with the Los Angeles Dodgers after their move west in 1958.
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  • 1956
    Age 25
    Zimmer was beaned again in 1956 when a Cincinnati Reds fastball broke his cheekbone, but he persevered.
    More Details Hide Details Because of these beanings, it has been widely reported that he had a surgically implanted steel plate in his head. This rumor is false, although the holes drilled in the surgeries following the 1953 beanball were later filled with four tantalum metal corkscrew-shaped "buttons."
  • 1955
    Age 24
    He played in the World Series with the Dodgers in 1955 and 1959, and was selected to the National League All-Star team in 1961.
    More Details Hide Details Although he had a low career batting average, Zimmer was regarded as a fine infielder, willing to fill in at third base, shortstop, and second base.
    Immediately following his rookie season, Zimmer played winter ball in Puerto Rico, emerging as a decidedly dark horse 1955 Caribbean Series MVP on the heavy-hitting 1954–1955 Cangrejeros de Santurce club managed by Herman Franks.
    More Details Hide Details Nicknamed El Escuadrón del Pánico (lit. "The Panic Squad"), the team featured future Hall-of-Famers Willie Mays and Roberto Clemente, future All-Stars George Crowe and Sam Jones, local hero Luis Olmo, as well as Negro League stars Bob Thurman and Buster Clarkson. It was later described by Zimmer as "probably the best winter league baseball club ever assembled."
    Notably, he played for the 1955 World Series champion Brooklyn Dodgers, and with the 1962 New York Mets, who lost a record 120 games.
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  • 1954
    Age 23
    He made his major league debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1954.
    More Details Hide Details Zimmer's big league career lasted 12 seasons, almost exclusively as a utility infielder.
  • 1953
    Age 22
    While with St. Paul in 1953, Zimmer nearly died after being hit in the temple with a pitch.
    More Details Hide Details He was not fully conscious for 13 days, during which holes were drilled in his skull to relieve the pressure of swelling. His vision was blurred, he could neither walk nor talk and his weight plunged from 170 to 124. He was told his career was finished at age 22; fortunately for Zimmer, the prognosis proved incorrect and he made it to the major leagues the following year.
  • 1951
    Age 20
    At home plate before an Elmira night game in 1951, Zimmer married Soot (Carol Jean Bauerle), whom he started dating in 10th grade.
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  • 1950
    Age 19
    He then played with the Hornell Dodgers of the Class-D PONY League in 1950, the Elmira Pioneers of the Single-A Eastern League in 1951, the Mobile Bears of the Double-A Southern League in 1952, and the St. Paul Saints of the Triple-A American Association in 1953 and 1954.
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  • 1949
    Age 18
    Zimmer began his career in 1949 with the Cambridge Dodgers of the Class-D Eastern Shore League.
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    In between, Zimmer saw action in all or parts of 18 minor league seasons spanning 1949–67.
    More Details Hide Details He also played winter baseball with the Elefantes de Cienfuegos and the Tigres de Marianao of the Cuban League during the 1952–53 season, as well as for the 1954–55 Puerto Rican League champion Cangrejeros de Santurce en route to the 1955 Caribbean Series. Zimmer led his team to the Series title, topping all hitters with a .400 batting average (8-for-20), three home runs and a .950 slugging percentage, while claiming Most Valuable Player honors. During a minor league game on July 7, 1953, Zimmer was struck by a pitch thrown by pitcher Jim Kirk, causing Zimmer to lose consciousness. He suffered a brain injury that required surgery. He woke up two weeks later, thinking that it was the day after the game where the incident took place. This led to Major League Baseball adopting batting helmets as a safety measure to be used by players when at-bat. Phil Rizzuto was the first player to use the batting helmets.
    Zimmer signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers as an amateur free agent in 1949.
    More Details Hide Details He played in MLB with the Dodgers (1954–59, 1963), Chicago Cubs (1960–61), New York Mets (1962), Cincinnati Reds (1962), and Washington Senators (1963–65). Shortly thereafter came a stint with the Toei Flyers of Nippon Professional Baseball in 1966.
    Zimmer was involved in professional baseball from 1949 until his death, a span of 65 years.
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  • 1931
    Age 0
    Born on January 17, 1931.
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