A legendary icon of America’s once-favorite pastime, Donald William “Zim” Zimmer leaves us at age 83; elevated to whatever is beyond Major League.

Zim was loved and respected by all. He was as much baseball as anyone who was ever associated with the game. He’ll be missed by many.

Mostly, Donald William Zimmer was a delightful sort who defied comparison and became too renowned in later life to remain what he had been as a player, an everyman. He produced a long, memorable resume in the game he loved, though he was neither an accomplished player nor a manager of great success. He was merely Zim.*

*from this MLB article posted this evening.

Zim is probably getting ready for his next game somewhere right now. The smell of the fresh cut grass is in the air. He can hear the vendors yelling about their peanuts and red hots. It’s a bright sunny summer day on a diamond somewhere and Don is there with a big smile on his face and a twinkle in his eyes.

R.I.P Donald William Zimmer b.1931, d.2014


About V. T. Eric Layton

vtel57, Nocturnal Slacker

5 responses »

  1. PsiCop says:

    My earliest memories of the Zim were back in the late 70s when he managed the Red Sox. Famously, his tenure included the famous 1978 collapse. Those not living in New England then might need a refresher: at the end of July ’78 the Sox were 14 games ahead in 1st place in their division. They ended up losing out to the Yankees in a tie-breaker game.

    One of the reasons for that collapse (in the opinion of many, not just myself) was Zim’s decision-making. Several times Zimmer purposely avoided starting Bill Lee (aka “the Spaceman”) simply because he hated the guy. He also played an injured Butch Hobson and an aching Carlton Fisk far too often; while no one can say either Hobson or Fisk hadn’t given it their all, but it wouldn’t have hurt to have given them some time off (and in Hobson’s case, maybe put him on the 15-day at least once to let him recover).

    Granted, Zim had only been managing a few years at the time, but he’d been in baseball since the 40s and clearly was no rookie. So I don’t think he could have offered very many excuses for what he did.

    In any event, despite all of that, in the end Zim proved himself a great baseball man. He took on a lot of teams during troubled or stressful times (including the Red Sox for several years in the wake of Darrell Johnson, and as part of the Rockies’ initial coaching staff). He also was on the Rays coaching staff during the time they went from being perpetual cellar-dwellers to perennial playoff contenders.

    • Sadly, the Rays are in the shitter… er, I mean cellar again these days. This season is so reminding me of the old Devil Rays daze. 😦

      • PsiCop says:

        The Rays have the worst record in baseball right now. About the only positive thing about it, for you, is that the Red Sox are only just barely ahead of them at the moment, and are sinking fast.

        Clearly the 2013 Sox were an aberration. The “real” Bosox are the contentious, sniveling, juvenile whiners who gave us the stunning September 2011 collapse and the disgusting 2012 season, complete with player rebellions … the guys who spent years cultivating mediocrity, infighting, fried chicken & beer in the clubhouse, claiming to be too hurt to pitch but then going on golf outings, managers who couldn’t or wouldn’t manage, etc.

        Yes, folks, these are the “real” Bosox. Not the World Series winners of 2013, but the crybaby losers of 2011 and 2012.

        • Still rootin’ for those ol’ BoSox, huh? 😉

          Well, I predicted in a few places and in some conversations since last winter that the Toronto Blue Jays would be the force to reckon with this season. I may have been right.

          My prediction for the Fall Classic is Toronto vs the Milwaukee Brewers. Toronto takes the series in 5. 🙂

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