22 December 2014

the rays' don zimmer memorial patch

tampa bay rays advisor and baseball lifer don zimmer passed away in june of 2014, and the rays quickly added a 'zim' patch to their jerseys in tribute.  here's a look at the patch on kevin kiermaier's 2014 topps update card
is that (now) former manager joe maddon lurking in the background?

this 2015 topps evan longoria card is another good example
and it's the one in my memorials binder as a result.

zim had been a coach turned advisor for the rays since 2004, but that was just the last in a long string of baseball roles that he filled.  after signing with the dodgers as a player in 1949, zimmer made it to the big leagues in 1954 (after surviving a horrific beaning in the minor leagues in 1953).  in addition to the dodgers (twice), zimmer played for the cubs, reds, mets, and senators, and he also spent a season in japan.  following his playing days, he coached for the expos, padres, red sox (twice), yankees (three times), cubs, giants, rockies, and rays, and he also managed the padres, red sox, rangers, and cubs.

zimmer won two world series rings as a player with the dodgers (1955 and 1959), plus a few more as joe torre's bench coach with the yankees.  he was also named the national league manager of the year in 1989 when he led the cubbies to the nl east title.  zimmer was 83 when he died, having spent 65 of those years in professional baseball.

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