When the Washington Nationals came into being in 2005, they were led by carryovers from Montreal (Livan Hernandez, Nick Johnson, Brad Wilkerson, Chad Cordero), trade acquisitions and FA signees like Jose Guillen and Christian Guzman. This squad gelled big time into an 81-win season and the hearts of their new fan base.
While this new squad did great for one season, brass knew they would have think long-range with regards to this franchise, so they got started in that direction that summer with the draft. The first draft choice as the Nationals would have to set the tone for the future, so they chose a slick hitting 3B from the University of VA.
10 years later, Virginia Beach native Ryan Zimmerman has grown into a leader and face of the franchise. Leader off the field with the Zims foundation to find a cure for MS. On the field, his resume includes a 2009 all-star appearance, a Gold Glove, and two Silver Sluggers. He also hit a walkoff HR in the debut of Nats park on 3/31/2008.
Now add a milestone to his career, HR #200. Zimmerman hit two homers tonight against the Cardinals, giving him 200 for his career.