Right-hander Jordan Zimmermann, a two-time All-Star who threw the first no-hitter in Washington Nationals history, announced his retirement after 13 big league seasons.
The Wisconsin native was pitching for his home-state Milwaukee Brewers this season and had a 7.94 ERA in five 2/3 innings pitched.
“I have had the joy of playing the game that I love for the previous 15 years,” Zimmermann, who spent two years in the minors before making the big leagues, said in a statement. “I will forever be grateful to the Washington Nationals and Detroit Tigers for allowing me to live out this fantasy. It’s been particularly special to be able to end it all playing for my hometown team, the Milwaukee Brewers. Thanks to all my friends, teammates and family members who’ve been by my side throughout this incredible journey. I’ll miss the game considerably, but I’m prepared for the new phase of my life”
He later told me that,”My mind was still in it, but my body wasn’t. Living out of suitcases half year. I felt as though it was the right thing to do in this moment, to call it a career. I am pleased to begin the next chapter of my life”
Zimmermann initially planned to retire a little earlier.
After registering a minor league deal with the Brewers this season and failing to produce the team’s first significant league roster, Zimmermann decided at the end of April to retire. He also changed his mind a couple of hours later when the Brewers known to promote him into the big leagues after a flurry of accidents hit their pitching team.
“I was basically retired for a couple hours when they gave me a call and say they needed some help, so I came down, gave them a couple innings and attempted to bridge the gap because they had a lot of [injured record ] men. I knew I wouldn’t be there long, however I wanted to have the ability to help them out and have those other guys get fit. Now, there is a whole lot of them becoming healthier and prepared to return.”
The Nationals selected him from Division III school Wisconsin-Stevens Point in the next round of the 2007 draft, and he went 70-50 with a 3.32 ERA with the franchise from 2009 to 2015.
Zimmermann, 34, threw his no-hitter in the 2014 regular-season finale at a 1-0 victory over the Marlins.
He finished seventh in the Cy Young Award voting in 2013, when he won a career-best 19 matches, and fifth in 2014 while making the NL All-Star team both of those seasons.
“I guess my proudest thing would be as a small-town child who played at a Division III school and forced it to the big leagues,” Zimmermann said Tuesday. “That is tough to do.”
Zimmermann was not quite as effective after moving to the American League to sign a five-year, $110 million deal with the Tigers in 2015, posting a 25-41 record with a 5.63 ERA.
Zimmermann got emotional Tuesday as he discussed his Detroit encounter.
“Just wish I would have stayed healthy,” said a tearful Zimmermann, that paused for about 30 minutes prior to finishing his response. “Yeah. I wish I could have gave more. The body just wasn’t holding up.”
He concludes his career with a 95-91 record and 4.07 ERA.