Don Zimmer

The Tampa Bay Rays have announced they will have a ceremony on Opening Day to retire the No. 66 of the late Don Zimmer.

Zimmer wore the No. 66 for just one season, his last. It represented the number of years he had been in professional baseball.

Zimmer’s number will be the third retired by the Rays, joining Wade Boggs (No. 12) and Jackie Robinson (No. 42).

Stuart Sternberg released a statement on the Zimmer and retiring the number:

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Zimmer spent 11 years with the Rays. Including his time in the minors and the majors, that was second only to the Dodgers and was the most time he spent with one franchise in the majors.

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  1. Gus says:

    Well done Rays. Well done Stu. There wasn't a dry eye in the house last opening day when Zim came out in that golf cart. He was a man who loved his wife, St. Petersburg (TI), the Rays and Derby Lane. The baseball industry is a bunch of vagabonds; to find a guy like Zimmer who lived in one place for 50 years is just a rarity. The day Zim died was perhaps, in retrospect, the day the music died for baseball in St. Petersburg. The season that seemed destined for the World Series ended up in a July fire sale. Instead of a parade, we got the Rays trying to slip out of their lease.

    It seems fait acompli that the Rays are eventually moving to Tampa (or beyond) and that there is no team wiseman/good luck charm successor to Zim at the ready (although Rocco may grow into that role one day).

    I'll remember the Rays' St. Petersburg years of 2008-2013 like New Yorkers remember the Brooklyn Dodgers run in the early 50s. No titles (and I remain optimisitc that this bunch could pitch the Rays to the title in the next few years), but it was a special time with Zimmer and Maddon and Price, the underdogs sticking it to Boston and NY (but never stinking Texas). All of those guys made baseball much more fun and are missed for that alone.

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