Ryan Zimmerman Announces Retirement After 16-Season MLB Career with Nationals

Adam WellsFebruary 15, 2022

Washington Nationals' Ryan Zimmerman doffs his cap to the crowd after he came out of the game before the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox, Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, in Washington. The Red Sox won 7-5. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
AP Photo/Nick Wass

After a 16-season career with the Washington Nationals, Ryan Zimmerman is hanging up his cleats.

He announced his retirement Monday:

ziMS Foundation @ziMSFoundation

Today, Ryan is announcing his retirement from the game of baseball. We are so proud and honored of what Ryan has done both on and off the field, and are excited for what will come next. Here is a message from Employee #11. <a href="https://t.co/xzB4zesD6F">pic.twitter.com/xzB4zesD6F</a>

Zimmerman and the Nationals had seemed to prepare for this moment at the end of the 2021 season. The crowd at Nationals Park gave him a standing ovation after he was removed from the final game of the regular season Oct. 3.

Washington Nationals @Nationals

Ryan Zimmerman receives an emotional ovation as he exits career game No. 1,799.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NATITUDE?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NATITUDE</a> <a href="https://t.co/upSyFL6zC5">pic.twitter.com/upSyFL6zC5</a>

"Obviously, I have a special relationship with this fanbase and the community," he told reporters. "And talking with Heather last night, I think if I do retire this offseason and I didn't do anything today, I would have regretted it."

Zimmerman will go down as one of the most important players in Nationals history. He was the team's first draft pick (No. 4 overall) after the franchise relocated to Washington, D.C., from Montreal in 2005.

The Nats only kept him in the minors for 67 games before he made his big league debut Sept. 1, and he established himself as one of the best players in the National League. 

Zimmerman hit .287/.351/.471 with 20 homers and 110 RBI to finish second to the Florida Marlins' Hanley Ramirez in 2006 NL Rookie of the Year voting. Zimmerman was named to the NL All-Star team twice and had four top-25 finishes in NL MVP voting.

The Nationals finished under .500 in each of his first six full seasons. But he played a significant role in their breakout 2012 campaign when they won the NL East with a 98-64 record. 

Zimmerman posted an .824 OPS in 2012. He hit .381/.364/.714 in the NLDS, but the Nationals lost in five games to the St. Louis Cardinals. 

Washington made the playoffs five times from 2012-19. After losing in the NLDS in the first four appearances, the Nationals won the World Series in 2019. 

Zimmerman drove in their first run in that Fall Classic with a solo homer off Gerrit Cole in a Game 1 victory against the Houston Astros. 

The Washington, North Carolina, native is the Nationals' all-time leader in hits (1,846), runs (963), doubles (417), homers (284), RBI (1,061), strikeouts (1,384) and games (1,799).