Don Zimmer has been inducted as the first member of the Tampa Bay Rays Hall of Fame after spending 66 years as a manager, player, coach, and executive in professional baseball.
In a ceremony held prior to Sunday’s game against the Detroit Tigers, Zimmer was recognized. As a senior adviser for the Rays from 2004 until his passing at age 83 in June 2014, he spent his final 11 years in the game, his longest stint with one franchise.
Soot, Zimmer’s wife, “His son Tom, a retired San Francisco Giants scout, and his wife, who he married at home plate during a minor league game in 1951, were among the family members present.
Carter Zimmer, a 7-year-old great-grandson of Don Zimmer, threw Tom Zimmer a ceremonial first pitch.
An emotional Tim Zimmer reflected on his father’s stint with the Rays, estimating that it “certainly extended his life at least four or five years.” “For him, being here extended his life.”
As part of the Rays’ 25th anniversary season, the Hall of Fame was established. Later this year, ceremonies will officially induct Wade Boggs and Carl Crawford.
The Rays retired Zimmer’s No. 66 jersey in 2015.