How did Don Zimmer Die? Don Zimmer, who was adored during his 66 years in Major League Baseball, passed away on Wednesday, less than two months after having heart surgery. He was 83.
Zimmer’s flamboyant personality and great love of the game made him declare that he had never worked a day. Bud Selig stated on Wednesday that Zimmer was “one of our game’s most generally adored people.” He had a 12-year playing career in the big leagues but came to prominence in more than three decades as a coach, manager, and adviser, most notably with the Tampa Bay Rays.
Zimmer was a senior adviser with the Rays and participated in spring training with the team. Since April 16, when he had heart surgery, he has been hospitalized. Tom Zimmer informed the Tampa Bay Times that his father “passed away quietly.
“The Rays were concerned about Zimmer’s health. Tom Foley, the third base coach, began wearing a jersey with the ailing icon’s name on the back as an homage.
Zimmer hopped from franchise to franchise before becoming recognized as Joe Torre’s assistant with the famous 1990s New York Yankees teams.
Zimmer played in the major leagues for the first time in 1954 with the Brooklyn Dodgers, who had Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider, and Roy Campanella on their team. His journeyman playing career ended in 1965, but Zimmer’s time in the game was just getting started. In his last two seasons with the Washington Senators, he was both a player and a coach, which set him on a path that would make him a lifelong baseball coach.
Zimmer was a manager in the major leagues four times, the last time being with the Chicago Cubs from 1988 to 1991. However, he became best known when he became a coach for the New York Yankees in 1996. That, of course, was the first year they won the World Series. Over the next five years, they won four more. During his time as Joe Torre’s aide de camp, Yankee players, especially Derek Jeter, loved him.
Zimmer called Jeter his “favorite student” a lot. But his time with the team ended when he got into a fight on the field between the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. Zimmer shocked everyone by charging at Boston pitcher Pedro Martinez, and Martinez had no choice but to throw the 72-year-old Zimmer to the ground.
After that season, he was fired from his job as bench coach, even though it was called a resignation. George Steinbrenner, the Yankees owner, told Zimmer that he was “tired of being treated like a dog.” Hal Steinbrenner, the current managing partner of the Yankees, said Wednesday: “Don did what he loved for his whole life.
He was a passionate, old-school, one-of-a-kind baseball player who helped the Yankees have a memorable time in their history. Everyone in baseball will feel this loss. We send our deepest condolences to his wife, Soot, their two children, and their four grandchildren on behalf of our organization.”