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Updated: June 10, 2014
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Former Manager Don Zimmer passed away; coached Remmerswaal, Eenhoorn

Don Zimmer
(1931 - 2014)

(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)

DUNEDIN, Florida (USA) - Former Major League Manager Don Zimmer passed away on Wednesday, June 4 at the age of 83 from heart and kidney problems.

Don Zimmer, nicknamed 'Zim' or 'Popeye', was loved by everyone in baseball. He was a colorful character, who will surely be missed.

Don Zimmer spent 66 years is professional baseball. The last eleven years, he was a senior advisor with the Tampa Bay Rays. In 64 of those years, he was un uniform, except for last year and this season, due to his physical condition.

In 56 of his 66 professional years in baseball, Zimmer was a player, coach or a manager. He was active with fourteen different organizations.

Don Zimmer made his debut as a professional player in 1949. He was an infielder in 12 Major League-seasons. He made his Major League-debut in 1954 with the Brooklyn Dodgers, with whom he moved Los Angeles after the 1957 season. He played with the Dodgers through 1959, then played two seasons for the Chicago Cubs (1960-1961). Hereafter, Zimmer played for the New York Mets (1962), Cincinnati Reds (1962), again with the Dodgers (1963) and the Washington Senators (1963-1965). With the Mets, he played in the very first game the team played in the Major League. In 12 seasons, he played in 1095 games, hitting .235 with 91 homeruns and 352 runs batted in.

In 1966, Zimmer played for Toei Flyers in the Japanese Major League, hitting .182 in 87 games.

...Grand Slam Webmaster Marco Stoovelaar...
...interviews Don Zimmer on Opening Day 1993...
...before the inaugural game of the Colorado...
...Rockies in Shea Stadium, New York...
(© Photo: Coen Stoovelaar)
Zimmer also played in several Winter Leagues in Cuba, Mexico and Puerto Rico. In 1956, he was the Most Valuable Player of the Caribbean World Series.

After his lone season in Japan, Zimmer became a coach and was named Manager of the Triple-A Team of the Cincinnati Reds for the 1967 season. In the same year, Zimmer also managed the Double-A team of the Reds. Three more seasons (1968-1970) followed as Minor League-Manager with the Reds, Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres.

In 1971, Zimmer made his debut as coach in the Major League, when he was the third base coach of the Montreal Expos. In 1972, he held the same job with the San Diego Padres, but after eleven games, he was promoted to Manager and he led the Padres in 1972-1973. Next, he was one of the coaches of the Boston Red Sox (1974-1976) and took over as Manager during the 1976 season. He led the BoSox in 1976-1980, followed by the Texas Rangers (1981-1982).

A year as coach of the New York Yankees then came in 1983 and he was a coach with the Chicago Cubs in 1984-1986. He then was a member of the coaching staff of the San Francisco Giants in 1987, but returned to the Cubs to be their Manager in 1988-1991.

Next came another season as coach with the Red Sox in 1992 and he then was one of the coaches of the Colorado Rockies in 1993-1995. He was with the Rockies when it played in its first Major League-season in 1993. Hereafter came eight seasons as Bench Coach with the New York Yankees (1996-2003). From 2004 until now, Zimmer worked as a coach and advisor with the Tampa Bay Rays. In 1989, he was named National League Manager of the Year.

...Don Zimmer hits grounders for the Colorado Rockies...
...on Opening Day 1993 against the New York Mets...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
He won the World Series in 1955 and 1959 playing for the Dodgers. He then won the Series again, while coaching with the Yankees in 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000.

In 1979, Zimmer was the Manager of the Boston Red Sox when Win Remmerswaal made his Major League-debut. The righthander pitcher was the first Dutch-born and raised player to reach the Majors. Remmerswaal also pitched for Zimmer and the Red Sox in 1980.

When Zimmer was the Bench Coach of the New York Yankees in 1996-2003, he coached another Dutch player. In 1996, Robert Eenhoorn played in 12 games for the Yankees, who were then led by Manager Joe Torre. Eenhoorn also played for the Yankees in 1994 (3 games) and 1995 (5 games) when Buck Showalter was the Manager.

(June 10)

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