Statement from Don Zimmer's family
Statement from the Zimmer family:
Today, at 6:50pm the 4th of June, 2014 Don Zimmer passed away. He was our father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He was my mom's husband and best friend since high school, some 68 years in all. Most of all we lost our family leader, our sponsor, our mentor and the man we called "Poppie". The last couple of years and specifically the last several months have been a huge struggle for Pops. In baseball terms be battled the best he could but simply was running out of gas. These last eight weeks, he was just too weakened to survive anymore and we are grateful the suffering has ended. We will miss him terribly, but will have a lifetime of memories.
We wish to thank the many doctors, nurses and technicians that worked so hard to keep him in the best possible health, especially these final two years. Each and every one of you was an "ALL-STAR" in the care you gave him. Most important we need to thank the Tampa Bay Rays. Some 12 years ago, Vince Naimoli and staff hired him as a senior advisor. That was a very important day in his baseball life. Then the new ownership group of Stu Sternberg and staff bought the club and told him "We want you to be a part of this organization for as long as you want to be." You will never know what that meant to an aging baseball lifer who thrived at being around the ballpark. Stu, you literally kept him alive for another four to five years by this gracious gesture. You treated him as a second father, and in turn he cherished his relationship with you, the minority owners, the front office staff, coaches, managers, players, trainers, clubhouse boys, and his main man "Westy" (Chris Westmoreland, the clubhouse manager).
We would like to add, in the sixty plus years Don Zimmer called the St. Pete area his home, writers from newspapers on both sides of the Bay, as well as all the TV news stations, were so kind to him with wonderful articles and stories that will be remembered forever.
On behalf of my mom, Soot Zimmer, my sister, Donna Zimmer Mollica, myself, and our immediate families, we want to thank our many friends, relatives, baseball personnel, and fans around the country that have rooted so hard with prayers and well wishes for Pop's recovery. What a great life he has had. The game goes on without him now, but he surely would have expressed once again, "that I was so lucky to be part of this game for a lifetime. "
We love you Pops.
- Tom Zimmer, Major League Scout, SF Giants