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Originally published June 4, 2014 at 9:29 PM | Page modified June 4, 2014 at 9:36 PM

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Longtime baseball figure Don Zimmer dies

Zimmer spent 66 years in baseball in positions as player, coach and executive.


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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Don Zimmer, a popular fixture in professional baseball for 66 years as a manager, player, coach and executive, has died. He was 83.

Zimmer was still working for the Tampa Bay Rays as a senior adviser when he died Wednesday at 83 in a hospital in nearby Dunedin. He had been in a rehabilitation center since having heart surgery in mid-April.

“Great baseball man. A baseball lifer. Was a mentor to me,” a teary-eyed Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

After starting as a minor-league infielder in 1949, Zimmer went on to have one of the longest-lasting careers in baseball history.

Zimmer played for the only Brooklyn Dodgers team to win the World Series and the original New York Mets, nearly managed the Boston Red Sox to a championship in the 1970s and was Joe Torre’s right-hand man with the New York Yankees’ most recent dynasty.

He played under Casey Stengel on the 1962 expansion Mets, who famously went 40-120.

“Don’t blame them all on me,” Zimmer once said. “I got traded after the first 30 days.”

Notes

Carlos Gonzalez, the Colorado Rockies’ All-Star outfielder, was placed on the 15-day disabled list after being hampered by a finicky left index finger most of the season..

• The Chicago Cubs are leaving the station that’s been their radio home for 90 years. WGN Radio president Jimmy de Castro confirmed on the air media reports that the Cubs are leaving the station after this season for WBBM-AM 780.



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