BY: John Mamola
The Tampa Bay Rays honored the late Don Zimmer with a memorial ceremony before Saturday’s afternoon tilt with the Seattle Mariners at Tropicana Field. Zimmer was with the Rays organization since 2004 and spent a total of 66 years in major league baseball as a player, coach, manager and front office personnel.
Rays television voice DeWayne Staats joined WDAE’s “The Ron and Ian Show” on Monday morning to reflect on how the ceremony was originated.
”What I felt just to kind of share a personal moment is that when we’re going to do this, we’re going to do this,” said Staats. “What I felt once it was over I said we have to do this. We’re doing this for Zim and let’s do it in a big league way. I will say that on the walk to the dugout and up the tunnel on my way back to the broadcast booth, there was some emotion there. It sorta hit me after we did all that."
Zimmer was born in Cincinnati on January 17, 1931, and attended Western Hills High School, where he began dating Soot. He and Soot, his high school sweetheart, were married beside home plate at Dunn Field in Elmira, N.Y., on August 16, 1951.
Since the late 1950s, they have made the Tampa Bay area their home. The Rays will be wearing a patch for the remainder of the season to honor the passing on Don Zimmer.
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