The Washington Nationals will retire the No. 11 jersey of Mr. National himself, Ryan Zimmerman, next month.
His jersey is the first to be retired in Nationals history, and there of course is no better honoree than Zimmerman, who played with the Nationals for his entire 17-year career.
Zimmerman was selected fourth overall in the 2005 first-year player draft, and he would go on to become the Nats’ all-time leader in nearly every offensive category.
The infielder’s résumé, in fact, has some fans talking of an induction into Baseball’s Hall of Fame: He was a two-time All-Star, a two-time Silver Slugger winner and a Gold Glove winner. And in 2017, he won National League Comeback Player of the Year.
“It brings me and my family so much joy to see that his No. 11 jersey is the first in Nationals history to be retired,” said the Nationals’ managing principal owner, Mark Lerner, “and we’re all looking forward to welcoming Ryan, his family and friends back to the ballpark for a weekend full of celebration, memories and thanks.”
Ryan Zimmerman Weekend begins on the night of June 17, before Game 2 of a split doubleheader between the Nats and the Phillies. The first 20,000 adults will get an “Employee #11” T-shirt courtesy of Budweiser. Live Q&A sessions before the game will feature No. 11 himself and former teammates reflecting on his career.
Fans will also be able to pose in front of Instagram-worthy backdrops featuring Zimmerman throughout the ballpark.
It all leads up to Ryan Zimmerman Day on Saturday, June 18. Pregame festivities – including the jersey-retirement ceremony – will begin at 3:15 p.m. (Gates will open at 2:30 p.m.) First pitch is set for 4:35 p.m.
The first 10,000 kids 12 and younger will receive a throwback Zimmerman 2006 jersey T-shirt, courtesy of Harris Teeter and The Washington Post. Special tributes to Zimmerman will be shown throughout the game as well.