The baseball life of Don Zimmer began in 1954 when he was called up to the Brooklyn Dodgers. Over the next 12 seasons, he would hit .235 and be selected to the National Leagues All-Star team in 1961.
In 1971 he was hired as the Montreal Expos’ first base coach, but after only one season, he went to the San Diego Padres. After only 11 games as a coach in San Diego, he got his first managerial opportunity as he was called on to replace Preston Gomez as Padres’ manager. After two losing seasons, Zimmer was fired.
After his firing in San Diego, he was hired to be the third base coach for the Boston Red Sox. After two and a half seasons as a coach, Zimmer was given another managing job when the Red Sox fired Darrell Johnson in the middle of the 1976 season. Over the next three seasons, the Red Sox would win no less than 91 games.
After his tenure in Boston ended in 1980, Zimmer would manage the Texas Rangers from 1981-1982 and the Chicago Cubs from 1988-1991.
His final coaching job began in 1996 when he joined Joe Torre’s coaching staff with the New York Yankees. Success came almost immediately as the Bombers won the World Series in his first season. They would go on to win a championship in three of the next four seasons, the final one coming in 2000 against the Mets.
After winning two more pennants in 2001 and 2003, Zimmer left the Yankees and eventually took a front office job with the (then) Tampa Bay Devil Rays, where he would remain until the end of his days.
A baseball lifer, Zimmer will be remembered as a walking history book. He will truly be missed by everyone involved in baseball and many more. From everyone at Yanks Go Yard, rest in peace Zim.