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’.”
Recipients of the Power of Baseball Award are true ambassadors of the #Nats4Good mantra and continue to be exemplary stewards of a commitment to community. Past recipients include:
2022 Theodore N. Lerner
Washington Nationals Founding Managing Principal Owner
COVID-19 Community Partner
2020 Dave Martinez
Washington Nationals Manager
Nationals Youth Baseball Academy Scholar Athletes
D.C. Little League Championship Finalist
2017 Ross Eisenman
Nationals Youth Baseball Academy Mentor
The Nationals Homecoming Gala, the signature fundraising event for Nationals Philanthropies, returns to the Anthem at District Wharf on Tuesday, March 28, 2023. Nationals players, coaches and front office executives will come together with partners and supporters to celebrate the excitement of a new baseball season. The Homecoming Gala is the team’s premier off-the-field event, with features including red carpet arrivals on Wharf Street, a cocktail reception, silent auction, seated dinner, Power of Baseball Award presentation and exclusive after party. Sponsorship and event information is available at nats4good.org/events.
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 $6.4 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 $39 million for facility construction and annual programming through the Academy. For more information about Nationals Philanthropies, visit nats4good.org.