When I was a kid, I was more of a baseball fan than a football fan. I loved the Chicago Cubs, and tolerated the White Sox. During the late 80s and early 90s, I religiously watched or listened to the games as much as possible. I collected thousands of baseball cards, and Ryne Sandberg was my favorite player.
To me, as a Cubs fan, the only manager I remember was Don Zimmer, and my memories of the Cubs seem to be completely encapsulated in the 1989 team, a season that found them winning the NL East, but failing to make the pennant. It was a fun season of players to watch, and Zimmer’s presence in the dugout, and whenever he’d burst out onto the field. He was a great manager, and a great coach before that.
Sadly, the last memory I have of him on the field is this one:
He’s going to be missed in the world of baseball. I like how The Loop called him The Forrest Gump of Baseball:
Zimmer met Babe Ruth (in 1947), was a teammate of Jackie Robinson (1954-56) and played for Casey Stengel (1962). He was in uniform for some of the most iconic teams in history: the team that lost the most games (’62 Mets) and the team, including postseason play, that won the most games (’98 Yankees). He was in uniform for the only World Series championship for the Brooklyn Dodgers (1955), one of the most famous World Series home runs (Carlton Fisk’s shot in 1975), one of the most famous regular season home runs (Bucky Dent in 1978), the Pine Tar Game (1983), the first night game at Wrigley Field (1988), the first game in Rockies history (1993), and all three perfect games thrown at Yankee Stadium (Don Larsen, David Wells and David Cone).