August 9, 1972 |
Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada
|Batted: Right||Threw: Right|
|April 13, 1999 for the Texas Rangers|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 7, 2001 for the Texas Rangers|
|Earned run average||3.27|
|Career highlights and awards|
Jeffrey Ross Zimmerman (born August 9, 1972 in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada) is a former professional baseball pitcher. He pitched in Major League Baseball from 1999 to 2001 for the Texas Rangers.
Zimmerman, who attended Texas Christian University, played baseball in the French Elite League for one season with the Montpelier Barracudas. In 1996, he pitched for the Canadian Olympic baseball team; they failed to qualify for the Olympics. After taking some time off from baseball to earn his Master of Business Administration degree at Simon Fraser University, he played with the independent Northern League's Winnipeg Goldeyes in 1997.
Zimmerman signed as a free agent with the Texas Rangers in 1998 and played at both the A and AA minor league levels. In 1999 he made his way onto the Rangers Major League squad after a short stint at the AAA minor league level. He became a very successful middle relief pitcher in the bullpen and even became an All-Star that season (his only All-Star appearance). Zimmerman tied the record for most consecutive winning decisions to start a career with nine wins. In 2001, he became the Rangers' closer and amassed 28 saves in a season that culminated in the Rangers naming him the club's Pitcher of the Year. Over the three years from 1999 through 2001, he totaled 17 wins, 32 saves, and a 3.27 ERA in 2282⁄3 IP in 196 games.
Following this trend of top performance, the Rangers rewarded Zimmerman with a three year contract worth over $10 million. Unfortunately, Zimmerman suffered a series of injuries that, as of 2008, have prevented him from throwing another pitch in MLB, beginning with a spring training injury in 2002 and continuing through three major surgeries on his elbow, including two Tommy John surgeries. He did manage a handful of minor league and Arizona League games, but never close to a full season and never at the MLB level. Following the end of this contract, which covered 2002 through 2004, the Rangers reinvested in Zimmerman with a minor league contract for the 2005 season. Again Zimmerman suffered injuries that prevented his return to the field of play for the course of the entire season.
Zimmerman elected to take the 2006 season off in hopes that his arm would naturally heal over the course of the season. T. R. Sullivan, the Rangers' beat writer on MLB.com, called this decision "his last, best hope" for returning to playing baseball. Having not competed in a game since 2003, Zimmerman retired in 2006 and moved back to Vancouver, British Columbia. In 2008, The Sports Network listed Zimmerman as retired and gives his career potential as, "After four years out with injuries, he may be done."
On January 18, 2006 Lone Star Ball, a Texas Rangers blog, named Zimmerman 46 on "The 50 Greatest Rangers of All Time" list.
Zimmerman, who had been plagued with injuries for most of his career, said this about his baseball abilities after sitting out for so long:
|“||Right away I was able to throw a baseball without any discomfort at all, I sometimes find it hard to believe that after all that time, I was completely healthy again. I threw the ball in January and I had no trouble getting it into the high eighties.||”|
Zimmerman appeared in one game for the Arizona League Mariners, pitching two innings and giving up one run. He has not pitched professionally since.
- "ESPN Page 2". Jeff Zimmerman is dreaming again of the majors. Retrieved 29 April 2009.
- "Texas Rangers News | texasrangers.com: News". Texas.rangers.mlb.com. 2012-06-19. Retrieved 2012-09-03.
- #46 -- The 50 Greatest Rangers of All Time -- Jeff Zimmermanlonestarball.com
- "Mariners sign RHP Jeff Zimmerman to Minor League contract". Mlb.mlb.com. 2012-06-19. Retrieved 2012-09-03.
- Taylor, Scott (2009-04-09). "After Nearly Eight Years, Jeff Zimmerman is Back in Baseball: Signs With Mariners". :. Retrieved 2012-09-03.
- Corpus Christi Caller Times. "Corpus Christi Caller Times Caller.com - Rangers continue streak, defeat Mariners 7-6". Caller2.com. Retrieved 2012-09-03.
- Career statistics and player information from ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)