U-Va. retires Zimmerman's No. 11 as governor issues proclamation


April 30, 2022 will be forever distinguished in the Commonwealth of Virginia as Ryan Zimmerman Day, Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced Saturday as Zimmerman’s alma mater, the University of Virginia, held a pregame ceremony to retire the former infielder’s jersey number.

“The Commonwealth’s own Ryan Zimmerman is a baseball legend and trailblazer,” Youngkin said in a statement. “I am thrilled to issue a proclamation designating Ryan Zimmerman Day in Virginia to commemorate his service to his community, UVA, Virginia and his skill and dedication to baseball. Congratulations Mr. National!”

The proclamation, which can be read in its entirety here, recognized Zimmerman for his accomplishments at U-Va. and with the Nationals in addition to his work with the ziMS Foundation and Heather’s Pros for Heroes COVID-19 Relief Fund. The Virginia Beach native retired from baseball this year after 16 seasons in the major leagues — all with the Nationals.

Zimmerman attended Saturday’s ceremony with his wife, Heather, and their four children. U-Va. head coach Brian O’Connor, who recruited Zimmerman to play in Charlottesville, caught the first pitch from his former All-American third baseman in front of a sold-out crowd.

Across three seasons for the Cavaliers, Zimmerman started all 174 games they played while batting .355 with 250 hits and 140 RBIs. He led Virginia to consecutive NCAA tournament appearances for the first time in program history and earned two All-ACC selections. Zimmerman joined coach and administrator Jim West as the only U-Va. baseball alumni to have their numbers retired.

The Nationals plan to retire Zimmerman’s number this year as well. They will host a two-day celebration June 17-18 at Nationals Park.

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