Don Zimmer Photos
Don was a three sport star (baseball, basketball and football) at Western Hills High School in Cincinnati, including starting as the school's varsity quarterback.
Don married his high school sweetheart, Carol Jean "Soot" Bauerle, in a most befitting ceremony held at homeplate of the Elmira Pioneers' Dunn Field, August 16, 1951.
Zimmer scores from second base on a sacrifice fly in this April 28, 1953 photo showing a game between the St. Paul Saints and Minneapolis Millers. The Miller's catcher is Ray Noble, who played in the Negro Leagues, PCL, Ammerican Association and the Major Leagues (NY Giants).
On July 7, 1953, Don was hit in the head by a pitch while playing for the St. Paul Saints. He was unconcious for 13 days, and had four holes drilled in his skull to relieve pressure on the brain. He spent a total of 31 days in the hospital recovering. Wife Soot was a constant by his side.
Zimmer played winter ball in Puerto Rico and Cuba during his minor league years.
On the dugout steps with a Cienfuegos teammate. In later years, Zimmer would always remark on the wonderful time he had playing in Cuba, and the fondness he had for the people and land.
1955 began with Don Zimmer in the Dodgers' starting lineup due to a Pee Wee Reese injury, and the Bums reeling off 10 straight wins. That's manager Walt Aston symbolically breaking a record over Zim's head. Aston let Zim stay in the starting lineup even after Reese was healed, until the Dodgers final lost one.
Member of Brooklyn Dodgers first championship club in 1955.
Zim had a seemingly bright future ahead of him with the Dodgers in 1956. But a career-altering beaning was soon on the horizon.
Don is greeted enthusiastically by son Tommy and daughter Donna after being released from Long Island College Hospital, July 27, 1956. Zimmer was plunked in the head by Cincinnati's Hal Jeffcoat on June 23. He was mostly unconscious for the next two weeks, and ordered by doctors to wear special glasses that limited the light allowed into his eye while he recovered from a nearly detached retina and broken cheekbone.
Zim loved to spin yarns from the dugout. He learned from the greats, as this photo reveals. Dazzy Vance has his ear at a 1959 Old-Timers game. Rip Sewell, former manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates, is also pictured.
In 1960, Zim was traded from the Dodgers to Chicago, where he would play two seasons.
Zimmer was chosen in the 1962 expansion draft by the New York Mets. Because he lived nearby the team's spring training facility, he was asked to be the first person to model the Mets uniform. This photo, of Zim and his son Tommy, originates from that session.
In 1966, Zimmer played one final professional season, but in the Japanese Pacific League with the Toei Flyers. The photo above is a rare amateur photographer's original photo.
Zimmer remained good friends with Jackie Robinson even after Jackie's retirement. Zim was always thrilled when Jackie would ask to play a round of golf when visiting near Don's home in Treasure Island, Florida.
That's Zim, as Boston's third base coach, congratulating Carlton Fisk on his 12th inning walk-off homerun in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series, one of baseball's most historic games.
Zimmer excelled as a 3rd base coach, some calling him the best ever in this often thankless capacity.
Boyhood friend and Cubs manager Jim Frey hired Zim to coach for his squad in 1984.
Zim was always one to speak his mind to the men in blue.
Don contemplates the coming season at Spring Training, 1989. The experts didn't expect much from the Cubs' young team that season, but they surprised everyone by making the playoffs.
Two great baseball minds, who seemingly saw it all: Zim (as manager of the Cubs in 1989)
The "Boys of Zimmer" douse their daddy, as the 1989 Cubs squad claims the NL East pennant.
Tony LaRussa and Don Zimmer, two of the game's better minds, swap stories at the 1990 All-Star Game played at Wrigley Field.
Two baseball icons, Don Zimmer and Tommy Lasorda.
Zimmer was Joe Torre's right-hand man, serving as Yankees bench coach from 1996 to 2003.
The Yankee braintrust of Joe Torre, Don Zimmer and pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre helped guide the team to a 1996 World Championship. The team would go on to win four World Series (1996, 1998, 1999, 2000) under their guidance.
Three photos from Zim's infamous scuffle with Pedro Martinez in Game 3 of 2003 ALCS.
Zim at Devil Rays Turn Back the Clock Night, June 23, 2007.
With the Tampa Bay Rays, Zim served as Senior Baseball Advisor from 2004-2014. This photo is from the 2008 season.
Zim made an appearance as an honorary coach at the Andre Dawson & Friends' Charity Softball Event held to celebrate Dawson's enshrinement in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The event was held July 28, 2010 at Alexian Field in Schaumburg, IL.
Donald William Zimmer passed away on June 4, 2014 at the age of 83. 66 of those years were spent in organized baseball. The Tampa Bay Rays honored Zimmer's legacy with a ceremony held before the team's June 7th game. The Rays' players all wore uniform #23 for the game, and Zim's extended family, including wife Soot, son Tommy, daughter Donna and four grandchildren gathered for an emotional pre-game remembrance and farewell.
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