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Opening Day still "special" for Rays' Zimmer

2

April

Rays senior advisor Don Zimmer will be part of his 54th opening day today, starting his 65th season in pro ball.

Zimmer. 82, says every one of them have been special, still remembering his first at Ebbets Field in 1955.

And today, Zimmer will deliver the ceremonial first pitch - his son, Tom, will throw it - with wife, Soot, there to see it.

"You know, Lou Gehrig said, 'I'm the luckiest man in the world,'" Zimmer said. "Well, if he's the luckiest man in the world, I'm the second luckiest."

Zimmer, who has been dealing with kidney issues, admits he's still struggling to walk and do much, going through dialysis eight hours a day, seven days a week.

But as Zimmer enters his 10th season with the Rays, he appreciates every day he can be around the club. Manager Joe Maddon calls Zimmer iconic, and that he's helped him in so many ways over the years.

"Today is special," Zimmer said. "Special that I'm alive."

 


Don Zimmer tips his cap during the team introductions before Tuesday's season opener.

JAMES BORCHUCK | Times

Don Zimmer tips his cap during the team introductions before Tuesday's season opener.

[Last modified: Tuesday, April 2, 2013 6:10pm]

    

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