Nationals to retire Ryan Zimmerman’s number

The Washington Nationals will retire Ryan Zimmerman’s number — making sure no player ever wears No. 11 again for the franchise.

The Nationals will honor Zimmerman with a two-day event starting June 17 for “Ryan Zimmerman Weekend,” the team announced — with the jersey retirement happening Saturday, June 18. Nationals owner Mark Lerner announced the team’s plans during a spring training game broadcast on Monday.

Zimmerman’s number will be the first to be retired by Washington. The Nationals did not adopt the handful of numbers retired by the Montreal Expos when the franchise relocated to the District in 2005, though the club is not permitted to wear No. 42 as MLB retired the number league-wide in honor of Jackie Robinson.

“No other player in Washington Nationals history will wear No. 11,” the Nationals wrote on Twitter. “It belongs to Mr. National, Ryan Zimmerman.”

It’s a fitting choice. Zimmerman was the Nationals’ first-ever draft pick — drafted fourth overall in 2005 out of Virginia. He became the team’s first homegrown star as Zimmermannicknamed Mr. National, was an All-Star infielder who came up in big moments. Zimmerman hit the Nationals’ first home run in the World Series in 2019 and leads Washington in walk-off homers.

The 37-year-old announced his retirement earlier this year after 17 years with the team. Zimmerman’s jersey retirement anniversary will come on the 16-year anniversary of the first walk-off homer of his career, which he blasted over the left-field fence to give Washington a 3-2 win over the New York Yankees in 2006.

“Ryan Zimmerman Weekend” also will come as former National Bryce Harper and the Philadelphia Phillies are in town as the visiting opponent.

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