By: Michael Ganci

Happy Birthday Don Zimmer

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The late Don Zimmer would have been 84 years old today, and many forget that he actually had a cup of coffee with the 1962 Mets.

Zimmer played 14 games and had 52 at-bats with the Amazins’, but he hit .077 with no home runs and 1 RBI in 52 at-bats. He played third base, and wore number 17, later made famous by Keith Hernandez.

After Zimmer’s horrid start as a Met, he was dealt to the Cincinnati Reds for Bob Miller and Cliff Cook, neither of whom made a major impact in Queens. Zimmer also played for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Reds, Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers once again.

During a minor league game on July 7, 1953, Zimmer was struck by a pitch thrown by pitcher Jim Kirk, causing Zimmer to lose consciousness. He suffered a brain injury that required surgery. He woke up two weeks later, thinking that it was the day after the game where the incident took place. This led to Major League Baseball adopting batting helmets as a safety measure to be used by players when at-bat. Phil Rizzuto was the first player to use the batting helmets.

Zimmer had a long coaching career, and he served as manager for multiple teams. Unfortunately, for many in today’s generation, a popular memory of him was the below altercation in 2003, when Zimmer, over 70 at the time, came out on the field during a scrum with the Boston Red Sox. Zimmer, a Yankees coach at the time, charged toward Pedro Martinez, who would later be a New York Met. Pedro juked out of the way and threw Zimmer to the ground, but the old man was alright.

Rest in peace Zim.

About Michael Ganci

Michael Ganci is the Co-Founder of the Daily Stache, along with Matthew Falkenbury. Since 2008, Ganci has eat, drank and dreamt all things Mets, and he'd have it no other way. Feel free to follow him on Twitter at @DailyStache.

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