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Washington Nationals star Ryan Zimmerman is retiring from baseball at 37 years old.
Zimmerman was the team’s first ever draft pick as the Washington Nationals, an expansion franchise formerly known as the Montreal Expos. He holds a number of significant franchise records, including the most ever home runs, RBIs, hits and games played as a Washington National.
Zimmerman hit the first walk-off home run at Nationals Park in 2008, and leaves behind a legacy as a franchise icon after 17 years in the big leagues.
“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?” Zimmerman told the Washington Post.
Washington Nationals: Ryan Zimmerman retires from baseball
Zimmerman went out on his terms, as most big-league players dream of doing. In his final season he played in over 100 games and hit 14 home runs, playing reliable defense at first base. He surely had more left in the tank if he wanted to continue playing, and the Nationals would’ve gladly had him.
In what ended up being his final home game, Zimmerman was pulled in the eighth inning to a standing ovation. He mouthed the words ‘thank you’, in a powerful exit that could’ve doubled as the final scene from your favorite baseball movie. He was done, although he and fans weren’t completely sure at the moment.
As far as being nervous or being comfortable with my decision, I think my family deserves finally having me around. And not only having me around, but having me present,” Zimmerman said.
His commitment to family life will surely be as it was to baseball. Forever present, and always there when you need him.