When Major League Baseball returned to Washington for the 2005 season, in the form of the newly named Washington Nationals, fans were ecstatic, but team brass had a big chore to do. They had to, among other things, overhaul player development, which was left in shambles due to MLB ownership of the franchise. It would be a painstaking process, but one that management felt was necessary for the long-term vision of the franchise.
In that first summer in DC, the team had its first draft, the 4th pick overall, as the Washington Nationals, and Nats brass knew exactly who they wanted. The choice was clear-a 20-yr old 3B out of University of Virginia, a Virginia Beach native as well. Nats brass felt that this young player would not only have success in Washington, but could even be the face of the franchise. Just a few months later, when rosters expanded, Ryan Zimmerman made his major league debut with the Nationals.
Fast forward to 2015. Zimmerman has put together quite a resume. He’s been an All-Star, a Gold Glove winner, and 2-time Silver Slugger. He is also Mr. Clutch, as he has has hit 10 career walk-off homers, just 2 shy of the all-time NL record. One of those even came on March 30, 2008, when his walk-off shot beat the Braves to christen the new Nationals Park. He remains the last player left on the team from that inaugural 2005 season, and by far the longest active tenured player with the team.
The Nationals were expected to contend for a championship in 2015, their big 10th anniversary season, with Zimmerman now moved over to 1B. While that did not even come close to happening, the season was not devoid of highlights anyway, and one of them came on the night of September 2.
The Nationals were in St. Louis to play the Cardinals, and Zimmerman hit 2 homeruns to give the Nats a 4-3 win. These 2 homeruns gave Zimmerman, now 30 yrs old, 200 round-trippers for his career. He would become only the 5th player in franchise history to hit that milestone, joining 4 Expos.
Zimmerman would only play 5 more games after that night before going down for the season with an oblique injury.
Ryan Zimmerman has hit .283 with 200 HR and 783 RBIs in his ML career.