Wednesday, March 29, 2023
Washington Nationals Philanthropies, the official charitable arm of the Washington Nationals Baseball Club, hosted its annual signature fundraising event Tuesday night, honoring former Nationals player Ryan Zimmerman with its Power of Baseball Award. The Nationals Homecoming Gala, held at The Anthem at The Wharf, raised nearly $1 million to further Nationals Philanthropies’ community impact work and was attended by members of the Lerner family, the Washington Nationals baseball club and front office, and representatives from several prominent local organizations and philanthropists. Auction items can continue to be bid upon until 8 p.m. ET tomorrow at nats.com/Homecoming.
The Power of Baseball Award, presented by The Annette M. and Theodore N. Lerner Family Foundation, is Washington Nationals Philanthropies’ most illustrious award, and recognizes an individual, corporation, organization or local group that embodies the positive character and level of achievement exemplified throughout the game of baseball.
The first-ever player drafted by the Nationals, Zimmerman played 17 seasons with the organization – including a historic World Series championship run – before retiring in 2022. Aptly nicknamed “Mr. National,” Zimmerman has proven himself a leader on the field and in the community. He is the first current or former player to receive the foundation’s Power of Baseball Award.
“Throughout his career, Ryan Zimmerman was a leader, an inspiration, and a tireless advocate for our community,” said Tal Alter, CEO of Nationals Philanthropies. “Off the field, Ryan’s dedication to numerous charitable initiatives including his own ziMS Foundation show that he is a driving force for good. It is with great pleasure that we recognize his contributions to the region and the game of baseball with the 2023 Power of Baseball Award.”
Zimmerman is the largest individual donor to Nationals Philanthropies over the past decade and has been a consistent supporter of Scholar Athletes at the Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, having visited the program numerous times over the years. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Zimmerman and his wife Heather spearheaded a relief campaign to provide health care professionals with support, resources and meals. During his playing career, Zimmerman was the club’s Roberto Clemente Award nominee six times and received the “Good Guy” Award by D.C. media twice since it was first established in 2016.
In 2006, Zimmerman established ziMS Foundation to raise money and awareness for programs benefiting those afflicted with Multiple Sclerosis, a disease that has affected his family personally. Serving as the foundation’s president, Zimmerman is actively involved in decision-making and donates his time, money and image to promoting the foundation. ziMS Foundation has raised more than $4 million for organizations dedicated to the fight against MS.