CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Ryan Zimmerman will not be on the field to help the Washington Nationals defend their first-ever World Series championship this year.
The former Virginia baseball star is opting to sit out the 2020 season due to the risks of COVID-19.
Zimmerman was the first player ever drafted by the Nats, as he was picked 4th overall in 2005.
The 35-year-old has been with the franchise for his entire career.
In a message on social media, Zimmerman said his ‘family circumstances,‘ with three young children, including a newborn, and a mother at high-risk, was enough to keep him off the field.
He says he is not retiring at this time.
STATEMENT FROM RYAN ZIMMERMAN:
“After a great deal of thought and given my family circumstances -- three young children including a newborn, and a mother at high risk -- I have decided not to participate in the 2020 season.”
“Everyone knows how much it means to me to be a part of a team, and I will miss that camaraderie dearly this year. Of course I would love to pursue back-to-back titles. I cannot speak for anyone else, but given the unusual nature of the season, this is the best decision for me and my family, and I truly appreciate the organization’s understanding and support.”
“To be clear, I am not retiring at this time. I have not decided on my future in baseball past 2020. But this year I’ll be staying safe at home and pulling as hard as anyone for our guys to defend their championship.”