It’s not every day that a baseball player gets to play for the team they watched growing up. But that’s exactly what Wisconsin-born RHP Jordan Zimmermann had the honor of doing early this season for the Brewers.
Zimmermann didn’t make the team out of training camp and was subsequently released, but ended up re-signing a minor league deal to stay with the Brewers. Once injuries started piling up for the Crew, the Auburndale, WI native got the call to the big league club in late April.
His first outing wasn’t exactly glamorous. Zimmermann entered a game the Brewers were already losing 11-1 and gave up another five earned runs over 3 2/3 innings to a Dodgers team that was taking out plenty of frustrations from previous days. It was also a game in which Milwaukee needed a pitcher to burn some innings.
Zimmermann’s next appearance for the Brewers would go much better. It would be a two-inning, scoreless outing in which he gave up three hits and no walks to finish out a 6-1 loss to the Marlins last Friday.
As it turns out, that game would be Zimmermann’s Brewers swan song.
On Tuesday, the Brewers announced that Jordan Zimmermann would be retiring from baseball.
It was a great run for the 13-year MLB veteran. But on Tuesday, the former Washington National and Detroit Tiger decided to call it a career, a move that was announced as official by the club that day.
This actually isn’t the first time Zimmermann has retired this season, believe it or not. The pitcher was reportedly retired “for about two hours,” according to Tom Haudricourt and Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, on the day that the Brewers decided to call him up to the majors back in April.
It was the culmination of a career that saw plenty of highlights, especially with Washington. There, he went 70-50 with a 3.32 ERA and 1.159 WHIP. He was a two-time All-Star, finished in the top seven in Cy Young voting twice, and threw the first no-hitter in Nationals history.
In the end, though, it seemed as though those years were starting to catch up to him physically, according to Adam McCalvy of MLB.com.
Though almost all of Zimmermann’s career appearances came as a starter, his two for the Brewers in 2021 came as a reliever. With the starting rotation getting close to full strength again, the bullpen looked to continue to be his home, which was of concern to the pitcher.
So in the end, Zimmermann elected to retire, finishing his Brewers career just as quickly as it began. It signifies the end of a professional baseball career that few players from the state of Wisconsin have gotten to achieve.
Hats off to Jordan Zimmermann to a heck of a career, one that luckily got to see him pitch the end in his home state.