Updated 07:11 AM EDT, Sun, Sep 20, 2020

Don Zimmer Dead at 83; Red Sox Manager Dies After Heart Surgery

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A 7-hour heart surgery two months earlier sealed the fate of baseball personality Don Zimmer who died on Wednesday night inside a rehabilitation center in Dunedin, Florida, where he has been confined since April 16.

The former infielder, coach and manager in the Major Baseball League, and who was part of the industry for more than 60 years, suffered a stroke in 2008 and scheduled a surgery just this April to repair a valve, reported the Tampa Tribune.

Zimmer played allongside with African-American player Jackie Robinson and won the World Series. He also coached New York Yankees' player Derek Jeter.

Jeter, in an interview with Sporting News, said that Zim taught him a lot about baseball when he was just starting.

ESPN reported that Zimmer, during his whole baseball career, was known and loved by many.

The baseball personality's career was put on stop in 1953 when he suffered a coma and doctors had to place metal screws in his head.

Zimmer recovered and was able to return back to the game until 1967. He later on became a coach after he retired. Some of the teams he managed were the Padres, Red Sox, Rangers, Cubs and Yankees.

His No. 66 jersey, according to ESPN, was recently sported by Tampa Bay coach Tom Foley to give tribute to the player.

Rays owner Stuart Sternberg told the Tampa Tribune that baseball lost a "national treasure and a wonderful man." He also noted Zimmer's dedication to the game he love which left a great impact that will be felt by the generations to come.

"His contributions to this organization are immeasurable. I am proud that he wore a Rays uniform for the past 11 years,'' Sternberg was quoted as saying. 

On social media sites especially twitter, fans and friends also poured out messages of condolences to Zimmer.

Former catcher for the Cincinnati Reds Johnny Bench posted on his Twitter account "My heart is very sad. A HOF person and someone overlooked for his service has moved on. Don Zimmer RIP my friend and manager."

Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista also posted a meaningful message on this social media account mentioning that "What you lack in talent can be made up with desire, hustle and giving 110 percent all the time."

Rays star Evan Longoria told ESPN that he knew Zim as a "great man" and that "there are no words" to explain his contribution to baseball.

Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle also shared with ESPN that Zimmer's death marked a sad day for baseball as he has created a great impact in the lives of other players.

A report from ESPN also revealed that Zimmer is survived by his wife Soot, son Thomas, daughter Donna and four grandchildren.


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