If you forgot about Ryan Zimmerman, you’re not alone. The 34-year-old first baseman has spent the majority of this season on the Injured List with issues relating to plantar fasciitis.
His presence on Sunday was just as heralded as it was way back in the day. As a 20-year-old rookie, Zim made his debut as a pinch hitter in a game against the Atlanta Braves. What dates that game even more is the fact that neither team plays in the same stadium they did that season — with the Nats leaving RFK for Nationals Park and the Braves leaving Turner Field for SunTrust Park.
On September 1, 2005, Zimmerman got one at-bat as a pinch-hitter and struck out.
On September 1, 2019, Zimmerman got three at-bats as a starter, and hit a home run. It was his 268th career home run, 1005th career RBI and 1770th career hit.
Being the elderly man that he is, Zimmerman was rewarded with a day off for Monday’s game. Just as he saw limited action in September 2005, Zim is likely not going to play every day this month.
Zim is only one of three players remaining from the 2012 playoff team. Along with the experienced Kurt Suzuki (35) and Stephen Strasburg (31), Zim remains one of the elder veterans of the team. Juan Soto (21) is now older than Zim was for his debut.
Mr. WalkOff has been Zim’s nickname forever, at least since he walked the Nats off in their first game at Nationals Park. However, his fellow 2012 teammate, Suzuki, may be angling for that title after his heroics against the Mets on Tuesday night. Zim had one at-bat as a pinch hitter in the 9th and hit double to drive in two runs before Suzuki came to the plate and ended it. It’s great to see that these old guys still have it in them. There is a lot of baseball left to play this month.
In 34 games played this season — his fewest since playing in 20 in 2005 ‚— Zim has 121 at bats and only 30 hits. In 2005, he had 58 at bats and 23 hits. This year, he has 17 RBIs and in 2005, he had 6.
Zim is usually known for playing almost every day each season, but in his injury-ridden 2014 season, he only played in 61, his previous career low. His most was when he played all 162 and was an All-Star caliber third baseman in 2007.
The comparisons are shocking between a player at the beginning of his career and the same player nearing the end of his playing days, but it’s good to see that he’s back in the line-up and on the field.
It’s good to have you back, Zim. Here’s to hoping your feet are finally feeling better.