Nationals to retire Zimmerman's No. 11

'Mr. National' will be team's first player to receive honor

March 22nd, 2022

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- For 16 seasons, Ryan Zimmerman set all kinds of Nationals records, retiring this winter as the club’s all-time leader in nearly every major offensive category. Now, he will become the first National to ascend to the rafters at Nationals Park.

Zimmerman will be the inaugural Nationals player to have his number retired by the club, Nationals principal owner Mark Lerner announced during Monday's Spring Training game against the Cardinals. Speaking on the MASN broadcast, Lerner said the club will retire Zimmerman’s iconic No. 11 jersey on June 18, prior to its game game against the Phillies. The team is also planning a Zimmerman-themed giveaway for its doubleheader with Philadelphia on June 17, as part of what it’s calling Ryan Zimmerman Weekend at Nationals Park.

“No other player in Washington Nationals history will wear No. 11,” the team tweeted, alongside a graphic of Zimmerman’s name and number. “It belongs to Mr. National, Ryan Zimmerman.”

The team’s first-ever Draft pick in 2005 following its relocation from Montreal, Zimmerman debuted as a 20-year-old later that season and quickly grew into the face of the franchise’s early years in its new home.

He was a standout two-way third baseman in a strong era for the position, collecting two All-Star nods, two Silver Slugger Awards and a Gold Glove. A career .277/.341/.475 hitter with 284 home runs, Zimmerman totaled at least 20 homers in seven seasons, setting a career-high with 36 in 2017. He drove in at least 100 runs three times and hit the first World Series home run in franchise history during the Nats’ 2019 victory over the Astros.

He retired in February the franchise’s all-time leader (including its time as the Montreal Expos) in games, at-bats, runs, hits, doubles, homers, RBIs, extra-base hits and total bases.

"I think it’s great," said Nats manager Dave Martinez of Zimmerman's impending honor. "I think it should be retired. Not often do you hear of guys playing on one team that many years, and with all of the things that he did. He was one of the best. I feel honored to have managed him, and we remain good friends.”

“It’s definitely weird not seeing him around the clubhouse," added right-hander Erick Fedde. "When you think about showing up for spring, his is one of the first faces you think of. There is no one who deserves it more than him. His story, what he’s done for this franchise, anybody would be happy to have him as part of their organization. I’m excited for him. I’m excited that means he gets to come down and hang out when that happens. I couldn’t wish anything better for him.”