Dunedin, FL, United States (4E Sports) – Baseball icon Donald William “Don” Zimmer, most recently a senior advisor for the Rays, passed away Wednesday at 83 while in BayCare Alliant Hospital in Dunedin, Fla.
The Rays will honor Zimmer with a moment of silence at Thursday’s Rays-Marlins game at Tropicana Field and with a special pregame ceremony prior to the Rays-Mariners game on Saturday.
Most of the public’s recall of Zimmer were his years with the Yankees as the club’s bench coach at his good friend Joe Torre’s loyal side from 1996-2003 when they won four World Series.
Zimmer was a reliable defender who played second, third, shortstop, left and right field.
In 12 seasons and 3,283 at-bats with the Dodgers, Mets and four other teams, Zimmer produced a .235 batting average, 91 home runs and 352 RBIs. He was a one-time All-Star, with the Cubs in 1961, and participated in the two World Series with the Dodgers, in Brooklyn in 1955 and in Los Angeles in ’59.
His most productive season was in 1958 when he posted 17 home runs and 60 RBIs in 127 games.
In 1966 he went to Japan for one last go-around as a player.
The teams Zimmer managed — the Padres, Red Sox, Rangers, Cubs, and the Yankees– produced a composite .509 winning percentage in 1,780 games and one first-place finish in 14 seasons.
There were also 26 years of coaching that began with Expos in 1971, then to Denver, San Diego, San Francisco, Boston, the North Side of Chicago, the Bronx and ended with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2006.
Zimmer is survived by his wife of 62 years, Jean; his son Thomas; daughter Donna; and four grandchildren: Beau, Whitney, Ron and Lane.