The Washington Nationals celebrated “Mr. National,” Ryan Zimmerman, with a jersey retirement ceremony on Saturday and festivities all weekend long. The Nats finished off a series against the Phillies on Sunday with a 9-3 victory. Also on Sunday, 2019 World Series champion Adam Eaton joined the Nats Insider podcast.
Eaton talked about retirement life as a dad, his decision to join the Nationals, and what the 2019 playoff run meant to him. Of course, he also shared some great stories about Mr. National himself.
“Well, with Zim, I think Zim getting that big hit in the Wild Card Game,” Eaton said when asked about which moments still stand out to him.
“We want that so bad for Zim. Even when we got to the playoffs, in the back of our minds, everyone’s minds ‘man, we have to go deep for Zim. ‘Cause Zim has been here forever. Man this guy deserves it. He is folklore, Mr. Nat, so we gotta go deep for him.’”
Not only did the Nationals go deep for Zimmerman, but the third baseman went deep for the Nationals early in the World Series.
“He gets that hit in that playoff game, and then he hits the first homer in the World Series. … Zim’s home run in the World Series, of course Mr. Nat gets us the first home run as a National in the World Series. It’s just poetic. You can’t draw that up. You know how hard it is to hit a homer? You know how hard it is to hit a homer in the World Series? You know how hard it is to be the No. 1 draft pick from Virginia, right down the street, have all the pressure in the world and go out there and hit one over the fence for the first one? Like I said, couldn’t draw it up any better.”
Zimmerman's home run in the top of the second inning in Game 1 helped the Nationals come back from a 2-0 first-inning deficit. They would go on to win Game 1 5-4 and the World Series in seven games.
Mr. National hit 284 regular-season homers in his career and five more in the playoffs. It's only fitting that Zimmerman's last career playoff home run was the one to propel the Nationals to the World Series victory.