Washington Nationals Philanthropies, the official charitable arm of the Washington Nationals Baseball Club, hosted its annual signature fundraising event Tuesday night, honoring former Nationals player Ryan Zimmerman with its Power of Baseball Award. The Nationals Homecoming Gala, held at The Anthem at The Wharf, raised nearly $1 million to further Nationals Philanthropies’ community impact work and was attended by members of the Lerner family, the Washington Nationals baseball club and front office, and representatives from several prominent local organizations and philanthropists. Auction items can continue to be bid upon until 8 p.m. ET tomorrow, March 30, at nats.com/Homecoming.
The Power of Baseball Award, presented by The Annette M. and Theodore N. Lerner Family Foundation, is Washington Nationals Philanthropies’ most illustrious award, and recognizes an individual, corporation, organization or local group that embodies the positive character and level of achievement exemplified throughout the game of baseball.
The first-ever player drafted by the Nationals, Zimmerman played 17 seasons with the organization – including a historic World Series championship run – before retiring in 2022. 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.
“Throughout his career, Ryan Zimmerman was a leader, an inspiration, and a tireless advocate for our community,” said Tal Alter, CEO of Nationals Philanthropies. “Off the field, Ryan’s dedication to numerous charitable initiatives including his own ziMS Foundation show that he is a driving force for good. It is with great pleasure that we recognize his contributions to the region and the game of baseball with the 2023 Power of Baseball Award.”
Zimmerman is the largest individual donor to Nationals Philanthropies over the past decade and has been a consistent supporter of 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.
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.
Recipients of the Power of Baseball Award have been true ambassadors of the #Nats4Good mantra and exemplary stewards of a commitment to community. Past recipients include:
2022 Theodore N. Lerner
Nationals Founding Managing Principal Owner
2021 José Andrés for World Central Kitchen
COVID-19 Community Partner
2020 Dave Martinez
Washington Nationals Manager
2019 Inaugural Graduating Class
Nationals Youth Baseball Academy Scholar Athletes
2018 JMS Little League All-Star Team
D.C. Little League Championship Finalist
2017 Ross Eisenman
Nationals Youth Baseball Academy Mentor
About Washington Nationals Philanthropies:
Washington Nationals Philanthropies is the official charitable arm of the Washington Nationals. Its mission is to champion opportunities for all residents of the Greater Washington region to thrive by inspiring investment in the community. The organization delivers on this commitment by spurring investment in community-based programs that address the disparity of opportunity for residents of the region across a variety of needs. Since 2007, the foundation has issued over $6.6 million in grants to local organizations. Through its signature program, the Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, the organization operates year round holistic youth development and baseball instruction activities. Since 2013, the organization has invested $42 million for facility construction and annual programming through the Academy. For more information about Nationals Philanthropies, visit nats4good.org.
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