Virginia baseball to retire Ryan Zimmerman’s number

Virginia baseball to retire Ryan Zimmerman's number originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The University of Virginia baseball program will officially retire Ryan Zimmerman’s No. 11 on April 30, the school announced in a statement on Tuesday.

“Ryan Zimmerman embodies everything it means to be a Virginia baseball player,” Virginia head coach Brian O’Connor said. “He’s all class in everything he does, the way he played the game on the field, his leadership and professionalism makes him special.”

Zimmerman will be on hand for the ceremony and is expected to throw out the first pitch prior to the Cavaliers taking on in-state rival Virginia Tech. Every fan in attendance will receive a Zimmerman jersey t-shirt, with the first 500 that arrive additionally taking home a UVA-themed Zimmerman bobblehead.

Zimmerman, who spent three years as part of the Cavaliers’ program from 2002-to-2005, left the school as Virginia’s all-time hits leader — a record that has since been surpassed. Zimmerman still ranks in the top 10 in Virginia baseball history for career batting average (.355), single-season hits (92), and career hits (250). He was named an All-American in 2005 and was inducted into the school’s Baseball Hall of Fame as part of the inaugural class in 2018.

The No. 4 overall pick by the Nationals in 2005, Zimmerman enjoyed a 16-year Major League career — all with Washington — before retiring from baseball this past February. Zimmerman slashed .277/.341/.475 for his career with 284 home runs and 1,061 RBI. He was named an All-Star twice and played a pivotal part in Washington’s 2019 World Series run. He additionally earned the nickname Mr. National for his longevity and overall impact on the franchise.

Virginia’s ceremony will be the first of two jersey retirements this year for Zimmerman, as the Nationals plan to retire his No. 11 as part of a two-day celebration on June 17-18.

Zimmerman’s No. 11 will be just the second number the Virginia baseball program has retired, joining former coach and athletic administrator Jim West.

“You can tell a lot about professional athletes when you ask, did they make their community better? You can certainly say that about Ryan in Washington, D.C. and right here in Charlottesville,” O’Conner said. “I am excited to welcome Ryan Zimmerman back to Charlottesville so that our players, staff and fans can honor one of the truly great representatives of our baseball program and the entire University of Virginia.”

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