RIP Don Zimmer

It’s all over the sports TV world that Don Zimmer is gone. He was 83 and a fixture of baseball for 66 years. I remember him sort of vaguely as a minor cog in the 1950s Brooklyn Dodgers. He went with them to Los Angeles, eventually losing his spot to Maury Wills in 1959. He was apparently a big enough deal that he got an early Gillette razor commercial (there’s a pix of him doing the commercial on his Wikipedia page). He ended up playing in Chicago and New York (Cubs and Mets) as well as Cincinnati and Washington (the current Rangers). He even did one tour in Japan in 1966. He managed a bunch, never winning a title, then coached. His baseball knowledge was so good that he was almost always employed. Today he’s probably best known as the manager of the 1978 Red Sox who lost a playoff to the Yanks, as Joe Torre’s bench coach, and as the loser in a tag team wrestling match with Pedro Martinez.

How much of a baseball man was he? He was married in 1951 at home plate. He once said he’d never gotten a paycheck from any source other than baseball.

At his death he became the last Brooklyn Dodgers player to be active in Major League Baseball. RIP Zim.

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3 Responses to “RIP Don Zimmer”

  1. steve Says:

    I think Tommy Lasorda would still qualify as a Brooklyn Dodger alumni who is still active, but anyway, great tribute v!!…the way you flow through his life in a flash is well, kind of the way life goes

    • verdun2 Says:

      I guess Lasorda could count, but I was talking about actively involved in the running of the team. Lasorda is, at least to me, more an ambassador. Feel free to disagree. Also Koufax is still alive as is Carl Erskine and Don Newcombe, so there are still a few Brooklyn Dodgers left (I presume I missed at least one there)
      Thanks for reading.
      v

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