MLB is mourning the death of a hero of the sport, Don Zimmer, who passed away yesterday aged 83.
The influential and highly-respected character was involved in major league baseball for over six decades, starting as an infielder for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1954.
Donald Zimmer achieved six World Series championships as a player and coach, including a four-time World Series-winning spell as a coach at the New York Yankees between 1996 and 2003.
Zimmer leaves behind his wife Soot, son Thomas, daughter Donna and four grandchildren.
The whole of MLB paid tribute to Zimmer who made a massive impact in the sport and was a friendly and approachable man who will leave a gap in the hearts of all those connected to him in baseball.
Baseball was Zimmer’s life and he married childhood sweetheart Soot on a home plate on August 16 1951 before a minor-league game in Elmira, New York.
During his 12 season major league playing career, ‘Zim’ played 1,095 times with 773 hits, 91 home runs, 352 RBIs, 45 stolen bases and a .235 batting average.
He won the World Series twice as a player with the Dodgers in 1955 and 1959 and was a National League All-Star in 1961.
Zimmer was a highly capable utility infielder who played at third base, shortstop and second base during his illustrious career.
In 1967 Zimmer became a player-manager for the Cincinnati Reds for Double and Triple-A affiliates. Zimmer got his big break in coaching when he was appointed third base coach of the Montreal Expos in 1971.
A year later Zimmer took a similar role at the San Diego Padres before replacing Preston Gomez as manager after 11 games on the 1972 season.
This began his long and eminent coaching and managing career which lasted 43 years. Zimmer was still coaching in some capacity for his hometown team Tampa Bay Rays earlier this year but ill health restrained his involvement.
Zimmer had many friends and foes in baseball but was always open to chat and give advice.
On June 4 2014, Zimmer passed away after heart and kidney problems and over the coming days there will be planned tributes from MLB to the man affectionately known as 'Zim'.
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