Ryan Zimmerman

Ryan Zimmerman

On Strasburg, Politics and... Jazz Flute

UD - Ryan Zimmerman Apart from playing a mean third base, Ryan Zimmerman throws a mean party. A Night at the Park, his August 9 benefit for MS research, will convert the best seats at Nationals Park into a giant cocktail party. We caught up with him to discuss fans from Philly, Bull Durham and the attention of female admirers.

UD: So you’ve been in DC for five years. Have you gotten political?

RZ: Not too much, to be honest, but I have become friendly with Senator [Byron] Dorgan and Congressman [Michael] Burgess, who are also on A Night at the Park’s host committee. I would like to get involved more on the Hill.

UD: You’re both a minor-league veteran and a Carolina native. So how accurate is Bull Durham?

RZ: Haha. It’s perfect. I love that movie.

UD: What’s the craziest thing anyone’s ever asked you to sign? 
RZ: Chests are the craziest... bar none. It’s just weird with people watching.

UD: Ha. What’s your go-to neighborhood? How do you spend your days off?
RZ: My favorite neighborhood is definitely Arlington, with Georgetown a close second. I have a bunch of friends in the area, and there’s a ton to do.

UD: How often are you recognized around town?
RZ: A good bit, I guess. I usually hit up the same spots after games, so I run into the same people often.

UD: Which spots?
RZ: Capital Grille and Liberty Tavern about sums it up.

UD: Nice. What’s your favorite meal in town? 
RZ: Capital Grille. Steak. Done.

UD: You stood on the mound with President Obama this year before he threw out the first pitch. What was your advice?
RZ: I told him not to be nervous and hit the mitt.

UD: Speaking of hitting the mitt, when’s the last time you took your hacks against a Strasburg fastball?
RZ: I’ve actually never faced him in a live setting. Luckily we’re on the same team.

UD: Not even in spring training?
RZ: Nope, they didn’t let the starters face him. Didn’t want to hurt our confidence.

UD: Okay, give us a weird fact about one of your teammates.
RZ: Miguel Batista writes poetry, murder mystery novels, plays jazz flute (which he takes on the road) and, oh yeah, pitches out of the bull pen.

UD: Of course. Who’s the snappiest dresser on the Nats?
RZ: Guzman for sure—white suits all the time.

UD: Classic. So now you’re a party planner. How’d the event come about?
RZ: My family and I started the ziMS Foundation in 2006 to find a cure and raise awareness for multiple sclerosis. My mother was diagnosed with MS when I was a kid. [So] on the 9th, we’re essentially turning the stadium into a mini-amphitheater, with a custom stage being built over the President’s Club seats. David Blaine, the magician, is also going to be working the room.

UD: Nice. Last question: what’s your least favorite road city?

RZ: Philly is tough. I think their fans in all their sports are pretty intense. I’d put that one at the top. 

UD: They’ll be pleased to read that as they come to town tonight.


Ryan Zimmerman
A Night at the Park, August 9
at Nationals Park
1500 S Capitol St SE
Washington, DC, 20003
A Night at the Park

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