Baseball is all about history… the stats… the teams… the personalities. We lost one last night.
Popeye has left us. Don Zimmer, the tobacco chewing, pepperpot 3rd baseman, turned coach, turned manager, turned baseball ambassador. passed away last nite in Floirda.
Zim spent 66-years in the game.
He was a grinder as a player, a star in the Dodgers farm system, who got beaned in the head, and was never quite the same again. . They put a metal plate in his skull to help the healing in the 1950s, and he said no problem, there’s not much there anyway.
He played with Jackie Robinson in Brooklyn; played for Casey Stengel on that (40-120) Mets team, won rings, and lost lots of games too..
He managed the Cubs, the Padres, the Red Sox and Texas.
He was old time baseball, a talker, a teacher, and a leader. He was a coach with the Yankees and took on Pedro Martinez over a beanball incident in an important game, triggering a bench clearing incident.
He was beloved, and even in his failing days, he fed scouting reports to Tampa Bay manager Joe Madden, for whom he was still a bird-dog scout.
Zimmer was as throwback to a different era, beloved by old-timers, revered by the media, and respected by the young players he tried to help.
Baseball may be about home run 715 for Henry Aaron, or the Bronx Bombers World Series rings, or the shrine that is Wrigley Field, but baseball is also about the personalities of the game.
Don Zimmer started in 1949-he finished in 2014. He loved it the day he began and the day he died. And baseball will always have a special love for Popeye.