Washington Nationals Philanthropies, the official charitable arm of the Washington Nationals, today announced plans to honor Ryan Zimmerman with the Power of Baseball Award, presented by The Annette M. and Theodore N. Lerner Family Foundation, at its annual fundraising gala in March. The first-ever player drafted by the Nationals, Zimmerman went on to play 17 seasons with the organization – including an historic World Series championship run – before retiring earlier this year. Aptly nicknamed “Mr. National,” Zimmerman has proven himself a leader on the field and in the community. He is the first current or former player to receive the foundation’s Power of Baseball Award, which annually recognizes an individual, corporation, organization or local group that embodies the positive character and level of achievement exemplified throughout the game of baseball.
“From the beginning, Ryan has represented the level of excellence and commitment to community that reflect the core values of the Washington Nationals organization,” said Marla Lerner Tanenbaum, founding chair and board member of Washington Nationals Philanthropies and president of The Annette M. and Theodore N. Lerner Family Foundation. “Through installations like the first local Legacy Field to carry the name of a Nationals player and his impressive commitment to supporting families affected by Multiple Sclerosis through his foundation, the Zimmerman name will forever be connected with the positive impact he’s had on this city.”
In 2006, Zimmerman established ziMS Foundation to raise money and awareness for programs benefiting those afflicted with Multiple Sclerosis, a disease that has affected his family personally. Serving as the foundation’s president, Zimmerman is actively involved in decision-making and donates his time, money and image to promoting the foundation. ziMS Foundation has raised more than $4 million for organizations dedicated to the fight against MS.
Zimmerman is the largest individual donor to Nationals Philanthropies over the past decade and has been a consistent supporter of the Scholar Athletes at the Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, having visited the program numerous times over the years. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Zimmerman and his wife Heather spearheaded a relief campaign to provide health care professionals with support, resources and meals. During his playing career, Zimmerman was the club’s Roberto Clemente Award nominee six times and received the “Good Guy” Award by D.C. media twice since it was first established in 2016.
“When it came time to select the next honoree for the Power of Baseball Award, Ryan was a no-doubter,” said Tal Alter, CEO of Nationals Philanthropies. “His notable generosity is matched only by his authenticity and devotion to the causes he supports. We look forward to joining with supporters and fans next spring to honor the philanthropic impact and legacy of ‘Mr. National’.”