WASHINGTON – Ian Desmond shared a narrative on how far the Nationals got here as a franchise and the way Ryan Zimmerman performed an enormous position in that.
Desmond, the previous Washington shortstop, recollects a sure Opening Day when he was with the Nationals.
“We had been taking part in the Phillies they usually booed us,” Desmond mentioned of the gang in 2010.
After some tough seasons when Zimmerman first got here to the majors, the franchise reached the top when the Nationals received the World Collection in 2019 with Zimmerman as the primary baseman.
“The occasions had been powerful. Now look the place the group is now,” mentioned Desmond, standing close to the first-base dugout of the Nationals previous to Saturday’s recreation with the Phillies.
Regardless of a tough 2022, Zimmerman and Desmond each famous Saturday that the Nationals had been an annual contender for almost a decade.
Desmond was among the many a number of former gamers who returned right here to the nation’s capital on Saturday as Zimmerman had his No. 11 retired.
“It’s a particular second; I’m joyful to be part of it,” mentioned former outfielder Jayson Werth, noting he shared a locker close to Zimmerman for seven years.
Daniel Murphy, who traveled from his dwelling in Jacksonville, Florida, got here to the Nationals after starring for the New York Mets within the World Collection in 2015.
“He was so constructive,” Murphy informed Federal Baseball on Saturday of Zimmerman. “He loved speaking baseball and he introduced (work ethic) daily.”
A number of members of the Phillies watched the pre-game occasion honoring Zimmerman from the steps of the third-base dugout at Nationals Park.
“No person will get up to now on their very own,” Zimmerman mentioned Saturday of the respect.
“It appears like I’m preparing for a marriage,” he added of the many individuals who got here to Washington this weekend. “It’s a cool alternative. I used to be right here on the very starting. It’s humbling; no person expects this to occur. I miss the sport; I don’t miss taking part in by way of accidents.”
Born in North Carolina, the Virginia Seashore product was drafted within the first spherical by the Nationals in 2005 out of the College of Virginia.
After just a few video games at Single-A Savannah (4) and Double-A Harrisburg (63), he was known as as much as Washington in September of that season.
Zimmerman, 37, hit .277 in a profession spent with Washington, with 284 homers and 1061 RBI.
Zimmerman, maybe not by coincidence, had a number of huge video games on June 18 in his profession.
On June 18, 2006, he had two hits, together with a walk-off homer to beat New York Yankees.
On June 18, 2021, he had two hits in a win over the New York Mets at dwelling.
On June 18, 2011, he hit a homer in opposition to the Orioles as Craig Stammen acquired the win for the Nationals. Stammen was among the many former teammates proven on the video scoreboard earlier than the sport Saturday with a phrase of congrats to Zimmerman. Stammen is now with the Padres.
Different former Nationals right here on Saturday had been Brian Schneider, Danny Espinosa, Gio Gonzalez, Jordy Mercer, and Adam LaRoche.
Desmond and Zimmerman had been teammates in Savannah in 2005 and from 2009 to 2015 in Washington.