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Reactions to the passing of Don Zimmer …

Jun 4, 2014, 10:07 PM EDT

There are some great stories and pictures and quotes being passed around in the wake of Don Zimmer’s passing at age 83. First, this image from Wednesday night’s game at Tropicana Field …

Zimmer’s last job in baseball was senior advisor for the Rays. He touched so many lives …

Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig issued the following statement:

“Like everyone in Major League Baseball, I am deeply saddened by the loss of my friend Don Zimmer, one of our game’s most universally beloved figures. A memorable contributor to Baseball for more than 60 years, Don was the kind of person you could only find in the National Pastime.

“As a player, Don experienced the joys of the 1955 World Champion Brooklyn Dodgers and the struggles of the ’62 Mets. In his managerial and coaching career, this unique baseball man led the Cubs to a division crown and then, at his good friend Joe Torre’s loyal side, helped usher in a new era in the fabled history of the Yankees.

“On behalf of Major League Baseball and the many Clubs that ‘Popeye’ served in a distinguished Baseball life, I extend my deepest condolences to Don’s family, friends and his many throughout our game.”

  1. ryanw822 - Jun 4, 2014 at 10:17 PM

    the baseball community lost a great one today.

    RIP Zim!

  2. raysfan1 - Jun 4, 2014 at 10:22 PM

    A trying, disappointing season for the Rays just got immeasurably worse.

    • cur'68 - Jun 5, 2014 at 2:19 AM

      I’m sorry for your guys and even more sorry about losing Zimmer. I always liked seeing him at games. He didn’t need to be involved in baseball, he just liked to be. Given half a chance I’d be just like him.

      Hang in there, raysfan. Its a long season. Your boys could rebound.

      • raysfan1 - Jun 5, 2014 at 9:49 AM

        Thanks. I haven’t given up on the guys–and won’t even if they never do get back above .500 this year. It reminds me a bit of the 1971 Reds (the Reds were the team I grew up rooting for)– nothing ever seemed to quite get untracked for that team. They went to the WS in 1970 and in 1972 but finished 79-83 in 1971. Sometimes things just go south. It’s a long summer, so the Rays could still turn it around, but even if they don’t, there’s always next summer–that’s part of the beauty of baseball.

        Zim’s loss is the one that hurts. He was like everybody’s grandpa and full of knowledge that the players on the team soaked up like sponges. As time passes, we all get past the sorrow and remember more and more of the stories.

  3. phipfwe76 - Jun 4, 2014 at 10:37 PM

    A baseball lifer is something to respect no matter who you root for. RIP Zimmer.

    Also, that awesome MF’er looked just the same in 1978 as he did today!

  4. emaney477 - Jun 4, 2014 at 10:49 PM

    A sad day for baseball. We lost an amazing man today.

  5. davidc23715 - Jun 5, 2014 at 12:27 AM

    I lucked into front row tickets behind home plate for Cubs-Braves in ’90, I think was the year. First thing is Smoltz had an incredible fastball but Sandberg put one over the wall of fulton-county. I got there early cause of the great seats and during batting practice they were showing baseball highlights on the screen in center field and they showed a fight between two teams. I heard a booming voice from a uniformed person on the field. It was Zimmer. He yelled “Brawl!”, RIP Zim. Thank you.

  6. 1998yanks - Jun 5, 2014 at 12:35 AM

    I know he was employed by the Rays, but I would also like to see the Yankees do an arm band or something for him.

    • hittfamily - Jun 5, 2014 at 2:34 AM

      Boy you Yanks want to take everything from us Rays huh?

      “Hey, maybe Eduardo Nunez, Dellan Betances, and a Derek Jeter signed ball will get the Rays to trade us Price”.

      “Hey, maybe the Rays don’t pick up Zobrists’ option and we could replace Robby with him”.

      “Hey, Longo’s contract runs out in a few years, the exact year when Arod’s runs out”.

      “Hey, Maybe we’ll claim Zimmer as ours, even though he’s been gone for longer than he worked for us.”

      Well Price is keeping his beard, Zobrist’s option was picked up, Longo signed a long term deal, and Zimmer will wear his Rays cap for eternity!

      ….But wear the bands…it’d be a nice gesture. ;)

      RIP Zimbear.

      • Paul White - Jun 5, 2014 at 7:27 AM

        Dude, wildly misplaced in this thread. First and foremost, this isn’t about the Rays or the Yankees, it’s about Don Zimmer. Second, Zimmer spent all or part of 10 years in pinstripes, so it would be perfectly appropriate for that team to honor him some way. As it would for the Rays (11 years), or the Cubs (9 years), or the Red Sox (8 years), or really any team he honored by wearing their uniform at one point. Third, the Rays aren’t the team Zimmer spent the most time with. That remains the team that drafted him, the Dodgers, an organization he belonged to for parts of 12 years. So ignore the chip on your shoulder about the Yankees for a moment and recognize that lots of teams have perfectly valid reasons to pay respects to Don Zimmer.

      • hittfamily - Jun 5, 2014 at 9:38 AM

        Paul White, you don’t know a joke when it comes your way.

        Also, the team he played for, the Brooklyn Dodgers, don’t exist anymore. So, the Rays are his longest tenured employer.

        He quit the Stanks job 3 times. He clearly hated it.

        Finally, dude, the memorial thread is here: http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/06/04/don-zimmer-1931-2014/. This is the wake. People crack jokes at wakes.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jun 5, 2014 at 10:32 AM

        Hahaha! One of the few thumbs up coming your way Hitt! Your post definitely made me laugh.
        And on point as well!

  7. plmathfoto - Jun 5, 2014 at 1:01 AM

    Thanks for this awesome article, especially the photos and sentiments. They announced it during the game I was watching, made me incredibly sad, this helps a bit. RIP to a legend and sincerest condolences to his family, and legions of friends and fans.

  8. mikhelb - Jun 5, 2014 at 1:26 AM

    Jeter looked devastated when he was told of Zimmer’s passing. I don’t know why they’d tell the players during the game considering how much Zim was loved by virtually everybody, and as we know, Jeter was very playful with Don during his time as Yankees Bench Coach (I always tought Torre’s real brain was Zimmer, the guy who would do a lot of correct calls, moves and steategic plays, after Zimmer left the Yankees, they began to fail more and more in the playoffs with Torre overmanaging more often than not).

    • raysfan1 - Jun 5, 2014 at 3:16 PM

      I wondered about that too–and thought it might have contributed to the A’s comeback against the Yankees last night.

  9. pacodawg - Jun 5, 2014 at 6:22 AM

    My dad picked him up in his cab and took him to the horse track 3 hours before his baseball game. Lol

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