Ryan Zimmerman retires as a Washington Nationals legend

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 03: Ryan Zimmerman #11 of the Washington Nationals waves to the crowd after coming out of the game against the Boston Red Sox in the eighth inning at Nationals Park on October 03, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 03: Ryan Zimmerman #11 of the Washington Nationals waves to the crowd after coming out of the game against the Boston Red Sox in the eighth inning at Nationals Park on October 03, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /
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After spending 16 seasons with a single franchise, Ryan Zimmerman is retiring as one of the leading players in the history of the Washington Nationals/Montreal Expos.

Ryan Zimmerman announced his retirement on Tuesday, ending a record-setting career with the Washington Nationals

Zimmerman, the first draft selection in the history of the Washington Nationals when he was taken with the fourth overall pick in the 2005 MLB draft, walks away from the game with a slew of records for players who have ever donned an Expos or Nationals jersey. No player in franchise history has more hits (1,846), home runs (284), doubles (417), extra-base hits (723), total bases (3,159), and runs batted in (1,061) in more games played (1,799) than Zimmerman. Those numbers say much about the player he became and what he has meant to the team through the years.

A two-time All-Star and Silver Slugger, Zimmerman helped the Nationals win the 2019 World Series. He helped the Nationals reach the World Series by hitting a three-run home run in Game 4 of the National League Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, one of two home runs he belted that postseason.

After opting out of the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Zimmerman returned to spring training in 2021 and told members of the media he was “nowhere close” to being ready to retire. He came back and played in 110 games last season for a Nationals team that finished last in the National League East. He finished the year with 14 home runs and 46 RBI, helping him to a 104 OPS+.

Still, as the 2021 season wound down, there was plenty of talk about Zimmerman’s future in D.C., especially after being pulled in the eighth inning of the final game of the season to give Nationals fans a chance to show their appreciation for what he has meant to the franchise.

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Often referred to “Mr. National,” Zimmerman retires as a face of the franchise. The biggest questions that lie ahead are how will the Nationals replace him in the lineup and when will the franchise retire his number 11.