Zimmerman: 2021 Swan Song or 2022 Victory Lap? 


Despite a disappointing season, the annual “next year” conversation is coupled with the question of whether or not Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman will return. 

Zimmerman, a.k.a. Mr. National, will go down as the forever face of the franchise, and it will never be debated by a sane-minded person. The team’s first ever draft pick in the 2005 Major League Baseball Draft is a World Series Champion, two-time all star, two-time silver slugger award winner, and a gold glove award recipient. The veteran baseball player’s more impressive achievement is not in the stat line but rather his continuity with the ball club. 

Zimmerman has spent 17 seasons with the Nationals and that in and of itself is a rare feat for an athlete in any sport as well as a rarity for an organization to retain and build around a player for so long in the free agent era. His tenure with the Nats showcases a distinguishable achievement on both ends that reflects how a respectable ball club is run, through the good times and bad. 

The Nationals are in a rebuilding mode, however you think they dealt with that big decisions. Stars like Matt Schwerzer departed. But another bright star remains: Juan Soto. The present and future are running the bases, metaphorically speaking.

The fan in me is pulling for Zimmerman to come back next spring and go out the way a legend should. Regardless of the next season’s outcome, Washington will never have another Ryan Zimmerman. In fact, very few professional sports franchises can boast having such an icon stick around for so long. Here’s hoping for a proper 2022 sendoff for Mr. National. 

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