Ryan Zimmerman Bio: Baseball Career, Family & Net Worth

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Ryan Zimmerman, the man with golden gloves, is an American professional baseball player. He was the first baseman for the Washington Nationals of Major League Baseball (MLB) for fourteen years.

A shortstop in his younger days, Zimmerman moved to the hot corner in college and developed into one of his sport’s hottest prospects. 

Ryan Zimmerman
Ryan Zimmerman

Drafted in the first round of the Washington Nationals’ overall pick in the 2005 Major League Baseball Draft, the former baseball player is famous for his clutch hitting and walk-off hits. 

Before knowing about his life and career, here are some interesting quick facts. 

Quick Facts

Full name Ryan Wallace Zimmerman 
Nickname Ryan Zimmerman 
Birthdate 28 September 1984 
Birthplace Washington, North Carolina, USA
Nationality American 
Ethnicity White
Religion Unknown 
Horoscope Libra
Age 39 Years Old
Father’s name Keith Zimmerman
Mother’s name Cheryl Zimmerman
Sibling Shawn Zimmerman
Residence Virginia Beach
High School  Kellam High School 
College University of Virginia
Marital status Married
Wife’s Name  Heather Downe
Ex-Girlfriends Unknown 
Height 6 feet 3 inches (193 cm)
Weight 104 kgs
Body type Athletic
Eye Color Brown
Hair Color Brown 
Profession Baseball player
Position in team  First baseman / Third baseman
Current team  Washington Nationals 
Jersey Number 11
Net worth $80 million 
Contract 6 years / $100,000,000
Salary $16,666,667
Food Habits  Unknown 
Tattoo  Unknown 
Hobbies  Unknown 
Social Media Facebook
Merch Bobblehead, Trading Card, Autographed Items, Rookie Card, Autographed Baseball
Last Update May, 2024

Ryan Zimmerman | Early Life, Family, and Education

Ryan Wallace Zimmerman was born on 28th September 1984 in Washington, North Caroline. He is the son of Keith Zimmerman and Cheryl Zimmerman.

He has a younger brother named Shawn Zimmerman, who is three years younger than him. 

Both his parents grew up in Collegeville, Pennsylvania. In fact, both Keith and Cheryl were athletes from a young age.

His father, Keith, played third base at Atlantic Christian College, whereas his mother, Cheryl, was a runner and a lacrosse player.

Later, in the early 1990s, the whole family moved to Virginia Beach, where Ryan could nurture his athletic talent.

His parents bought a house right on the beach to play baseball and learn how to surf. 

Both the siblings followed in their parent’s athletic footsteps. Most of their time was spent playing baseball and sock ball in their backyard.

Cheryl, his mother, helped out as an assistant coach while Ryan starred on the basketball court. His younger brother, Ryan, went his own way and pursued golf. 

Ryan’s Mother’s Illness

Ryan’s childhood was filled with happiness and a lot of memories. However, there was one source of worry for the entire family. His mother, Cheryl, had been suffering from a mysterious ailment for many years.

Likewise, she was having difficulty running, and her hands would become numb from time to time. Finally, when Ryan was 12, Cheryl was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1995.

Cheryl was more potent than her illness and continued her job as a special education teacher.

Ryan Zimmerman with his mother
Ryan Zimmerman with his mother.

However, it all changed when Cheryl got involved in an accident on a personal watercraft in 1998, injuring her with 12 broken vertebrae. The injuries caused difficulty for Cheryl to continue her daily activities.

It was a struggle for her to walk from the parking lot at her school to her classroom. In 2000, she finally decided to use a wheelchair as a solution.

The escalation of his mother’s disease brought many changes in Ryan’s and the whole family life.

Ryan and Shawn took on more responsibilities regarding the household activities, such as laundry and making dinner.

Unlike other kids of their age, both the siblings were forced to grow up faster and develop a thick skin for the world of struggles. 


After relocating to Virginia Beach, Ryan attended his schooling there. He graduated from Kellam High School.

Later, he went to college and became a college baseball team member at the University of Virginia.

Ryan Zimmerman | Baseball Career 

Developing a passion for baseball, Ryan, since his childhood, worked hard to make his dream come true. When he was struggling with the responsibility of many issues, he found solace in the baseball field. 

His effort and hard work helped him to reach far and high in the baseball industry. Ryan’s career can be broken down into the following:

Amateur Career 

Before starting his college journey, Ryan played in the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). In 2000, as a high schooler, he played on a “showcase team” with Wright, Mark Reynolds and B.J., and Justine Upton.

Likewise, he played high school baseball in the shortstop position at Kellam High School in Virginia Beach. He also played in the spring and various other leagues in the summer and fall.

Zimmerman’s first home run was recorded after his sophomore year of high school in summer ball. Later, due to his effort, he received a scholarship offer from the Virginia Cavaliers baseball.

He started in all 174 games in the three years, starting as the third baseman for the Virginia Cavaliers in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

His collegiate career statistics included 250 hits, 140 RBIs, 128 runs, 47 doubles, seven triples, and nine home runs. 

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Zimmerman’s career totals come among the top ten in Virginia statistical categories for doubles in 5th place, hits in 6th place, and RBI in 7th place.

He established the school record of hits in the 2004 season with 90, and later in 2005, and he broke his history with 92. 

During his final collegiate season, Zimmerman led his team with an average of .393, slugging percentage of .581, 136 total bases, 92 hits, 59 RBIs, and 51 runs. 

In 2001, he was considered one of the 29 former UVA players to have made it to the major leagues. During his collegiate season, Zimmerman received many awards and honors, which are:

  • All American by Baseball American (2005)
  • 2005 All ACC selection 
  • All American by National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (2005)
  • VaSID Player of the year 
  • 2005 ACC All-Tournament Team

International Baseball 

In 2004, Zimmerman started at third base for the USA Baseball National Team. He spent his summer being a member of Team USA.

Similarly, Zimmerman started 18 of the 24 games leading the team in batting average.468, hits of 36, RBI 27, 25 runs, 12 doubles, four home runs, .805 slugging percentage, and 62 bases. 

The team Triple Crown was won by Zimmerman after he posted a .933 fielding percentage.

Similarly, he also earned the World University Championship tournament MVP due to his .468 batting average record.

In 2004, he won the USA Baseball Richard W. “Dick” Case Player of the Year Award.

Professional Career

2005 Season 

Zimmerman’s baseball career began when he was drafted in the first round as the fourth overall pick. He was drafted by the Washington Nationals in the 2005 Major League Baseball Draft. 

After being signed, he was sent to the Savannah San Gnats and quickly moved up to the Harrisburg Senators, the AA affiliate.

Zimmerman muscled a double to right-center in his first major league at RFK Stadium. In 20 games, he posted a .397 batting average, ten doubles, and 6 RBIs in 58 at-bats.

Overall the 2005 members, he was the only one to hit over .300 in at least 50 at-bats.

2006 season

Zimmerman took over the third base duties from Castilla and remained with the Major League club for the 2006 campaign.

In 2006, he slammed his first Major League home run-off with a 93 mph against All-Star closer Billy Wagner. 

When playing against the Philadelphia Phillies, Zimmerman had hit his 20th home run of the season. Throughout his first seasons as the nation’s third baseman, he was considered a hometown hero. 

Ryan Zimmerman is a hometown hero.
Ryan Zimmerman is a hometown hero.

He had set the goal for his rookie infielder of 12 homers and 60 RBIs. However, he exceeded those goals with a record of 20 home runs and 110 RBIs.

He ended his 2006 season with 156 played games, 612 at-bats, 47 doubles, three triples, and 11 steals.

2007 season 

During the beginning of the season, Zimmerman was getting a modest raise to $400,000 a year. In the game against the Chicago Cubs, he hit a two-out go-ahead home run in the first inning. 

Zimmerman had his first career multi-homer day in August 2007. He hit a two-run homer in the sixth in 12-1, winning over the St.Louis Cardinals.

Later in November, he participated in a home run derby fundraiser for Grassfield High School during his offseason. Unfortunately, he was unable to complete the season due to a broken wrist. 

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2008 season 

For the first regular-season major league baseball game in March, the Washington Nationals played a game against the Atlanta Braves.

Zimmerman, the golden hand, hit a walk-off home run in the game, bringing victory to the Nationals with a 3-2 win. 

Zimmerman hitting a homerun.
Zimmerman hitting a homerun.

The home run was considered the first home run by a Nationals player in their new ballpark history. However, due to a small labral tear in his left shoulder, Zimmerman was placed on the disabled list.

Later, on 22nd July 2008, he joined the team after a short minor league assignment. 

2009 season 

Zimmerman signed a five-year $45 million contract with the Nationals through the 2013 season.

He broke the longest such streak record by hitting safely in 30 consecutive games while playing a game against the Giants.

Later, on 5th July, he was selected for his first All-Star Game. Zimmerman won a Gold Glove Award on 11 November as the best defensive third baseman in the National League. 

Likewise, Zimmerman was honored Silver Slugger Award as the best offensive third baseman in the league.

He also won a Fielding Bible Award for being the Major League Baseball’s best fielding third baseman.

2010 season 

Zimmerman became the second player from the 2005 draft class to hit his 100th carer home run. For the 2010 season, he had hit 25 home runs and 85 RBIs and had his first .300 batting average with .307. 

He also won his second Silver Slugger Award at third base on 11th November 2010.

2011 season 

At the start of his season, Zimmerman was injured, and due to abdominal strain, he was placed on 15-day DL. However, he finally came back to play against the Cardinals on the 14th of June. 

In a game against Philadelphia, Phillies Zimmerman hit a walk-off grand slam bringing an 8-4 victory to the Nationals.

2012 season 

Zimmerman signed a 6-year contract of $100 million extensions, which ran through 2019.

Again, on the 27th of April, he was placed on 15-say disable list due to shoulder inflammation. However, he later joined the game on  May 6.

Zimmerman playing for nationals.
Zimmerman playing for nationals.

Zimmerman’s shoulder pain caused him to struggle by hitting only .218 with three home runs in his first 55 games. He was provided with a cortisone injection to mitigate the pain. 

Later he was able to bring improvements in his performance, for which he was awarded the NL Player of the week.

2013 season 

The scar tissue on his right shoulder had bothered him, due to which Zimmerman had to go through arthroscopic surgery. Most of his time was spent rehabilitating to get ready for the coming season. 

Finally, on 29 May, he had his first three home run game where they lost against the Orioles.

The season was completed with.275 batting with 26 home runs, runs batted in 79, and 6 stolen bases over a total of 147 played games.

2017 season 

Zimmerman was voted onto the National League All-Star roster as the first baseman, his first selection to the All-Star Game since 2009.

Ryan set the franchise record for the most runs batted in on August 9, which earned him his 906th RBI on a solo home run against the Miami Marlins. 

Zimmerman had a career-high with 36 homers by the end of the season, with 108 RBI and a .303 batting average over 144 played games. Additionally, he was awarded the 2017 Players Choice Award.

2018/2019 Season 

He was forced to miss nearly half of the 2018 season because of an oblique injury.

Zimmerman was able to hit the first World Series home on October 22, 2019, in Nationals franchise history. Afterward, The Nationals were able to win it for the first in the franchise history.

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2020/2021 Season

The Nationals decided to make Zimmerman a free agent for the first time in his career. However, he signed a one-year contract of $2 million on 28th January to return to the Nationals. 

Consequently, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Zimmerman decided not to play in the 2020 season. Later in 2021, he resigned from a one-year, $1 million contract with the Nationals. 

Ryan Zimmerman | Stats

As per the baseballer’s stats, his Wins Above Replacement is 39.8, and At-Bats is 6609. Similarly, he has had 1834 hits while making 282 Home Runs. 

His Batting Average amounts to .278, and he has scored 958 runs. Learn more about his stats and splits among ESPN, Fangraphs, and Rotoworld.

Ryan Zimmerman | Married Life, Wife, and Kids

Ryan is married to Heather Downen, who she met fairly soon after college when she returned to the DC area.

They got engaged in 2012 before the National’s 2012 opening game. Then, they got married on January 12, 2013, in Annandale, Virginia.

Zimmerman with his wife, Heather Downen
Zimmerman with his wife, Heather Downen

Ryan founded ziMS Foundation in honor of his mother, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Heather has contributed most of her time helping to run the ziMS charity foundation.

Similarly, the couple is blessed with two children. Their first child Mackenzie was born in November 2013. On the other hand, their second child Hayden was born in June 2016.

Ryan’s wife, Heather, announces she is pregnant with a baby boy!

Heather, Ryan’s wife, is pregnant with their third child. It has come to the light that this will be their first boy child, with the due date in June.

The news was announced via Twitter. 

Ryan Zimmerman | Net Worth and Salary

The American professional baseball player has a net worth of over $80 million as of 2019. His net worth is mostly generated by his professional career.

Furthermore, he receives $16,666,667 as an annual salary from his team Washington Nationals.

Ryan Zimmerman | Social Media Presence

When it comes to social media, Zimmerman’s page can only be found on Facebook. However, one can be able to find out about his lifestyle on his wife’s social media.

Facebook – 73K Followers 

Twitter – 13.5K Followers (Heather)

Ryan Zimmerman | Frequent Asked Questions 

Is Ryan Zimmerman Retiring?

Ryan is not retiring at present. In an interview, he said, 

“After a great deal of thought and given my family circumstances – three young children, including a newborn, and a mother is at high risk, I have decided not to participate in the 2020 season.”

In conclusion, Ryan decided not to participate in the 2020 season due to COVID-19.

Was Ryan Zimmerman a part of the Greeley Estates?

No, the baseballer was not a part of the band, Greeley Estates. However, one of the musical artists has the same name as the MLB player. 

Are Ryan Zimmerman and Jim Stutzman friends?

The two are more like family than friends. Jim Stutzman is a Chevrolet Cadillac dealer and the sponsor of Walking in a Winter Wonderland.

He assists the ziMS Foundation in raising awareness for multiple sclerosis research. Zimmerman founded the foundation in 2006. 

Why is there a Ryan Zimmerman obituary?

The obituary does not belong to Zimmerman. However, it belongs to another person sharing the same name as him. 

What is Ryan Zimmerman’s walk-up song?

The athlete’s walk-up song was Old Thing Back by Matoma (feat. Ja Rule and Ralph).

Is Ryan Zimmerman Jewish?

Although he has a Jewish-sounding name, the baseballer is not Jewish. 

(Make sure to read and give your feedback. Let us know if any information is missing or needs to be fixed.)

Sanjib Sah
Sanjib Sah
Sanjib Sah is an engineer and content writer passionate about sports and athletics. With a background in engineering and a love for all things active, Sanjib brings a unique perspective to the world of sports writing. Whether he is covering the latest trends in sports technology or sharing tips on improving your game, Sanjib's words are always rooted in a deep appreciation for players' hard work and dedication everywhere. In his free time, you can find him hitting the courts or hitting the trails, always looking for new ways to challenge himself and improve his skills.

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