Cover image for Zim : a baseball life
Zim : a baseball life
Zimmer, Don, 1931-2014.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Kingston, N.Y. : Total/Sports Illustrated [2001]

Physical Description:
xv, 286 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Personal Subject:
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV865.Z56 A3 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
GV865.Z56 A3 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



In Zim, one of baseball's most eccentric characters and storytellers chronicles his life in the sport, from playing high school ball in Cincinnati to his current role as bench coach for the New York Yankees. Don Zimmer's career has crossed paths with the game's most memorable people and events, and Zim includes them all, from Babe Ruth, who lauded Zim's team a year before he died, to the Brooklyn Dodgers, who drafted him as a potential heir to shortstop Pee Wee Reese, to Casey Stengel, who Zimmer played for as one of the original New York Mets. Accounts of his tragedies -- two life -- threatening beanings -- and triumphs -- managing the San Diego Padres, Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers, and Chicago Cubs -- give a panoramic history of both the man and the sport.

Author Notes

Don Zimmer, 1931 - Don Zimmer was born in 1931 and has spent nearly fifty years involved in baseball. He signed on with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1949 and has never left the sport since. Zimmer was slated to become a great ball player, but that dream was essentially ruined by two incidents. On July 7, 1953 he was hit in the head by a pitch and remained unconcious for two weeks. he couldn't speak for six weeks and had a long recovery. But he made an amazing comeback, until again in 1956 he was hit by a ball which shattered his cheekbone. He recovered and came back again, ending his playing career with 1095 games played, including five World Series. Zimmer was also an original New York Met and an All Star in 1961.

After his playing career was over, Zimmer did not leave the field, but rather entered a different fireld and became a manager and coach of various teams. He managed in the minors and coached for the Expos and the Padres. He managed the '72 - '73 San Diego team, coached Boston before being named manager in 1976, coached the Yankees Cubs and Giants, and became the Cubs manager in 1988. In 1989 he won the Division Title and was named AP Manager of the Year.

Following his triumph as Manager of the Year, Zimmer became the bench coach for the New York Yankees and when Joe Torre was diagnosed with Prostate cancer, Zimmer took over the reigns til he returned.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Don Zimmer, currently a coach for the New York Yankees, has been in baseball forever. As a player, he was managed by Walter Alston and Casey Stengel and counted numerous Hall-of-Famers as his teammates; as a manager, he instructed another generation of all-stars. Coauthor Madden, an award-winning columnist for the New York Daily News, gives Zimmer's story the perfect tone: it's as if we were sitting down with Zim for a few beers and a long night of great stories. Fortunately, Zimmer is no Pollyanna. He liked some guys, didn't like others, and is happy to name names. For instance, he calls Bill "Spaceman" Lee, who pitched for Zimmer on the Boston Red Sox, a "mean-spirited jerk," and he claims unequivocally that he was bounced from his managerial job with the Chicago Cubs due to politics within the Chicago Tribune, the team's parent company. Baseball may be a great game, but Zimmer has always understood that it's also a business. It's that reality-based foundation that gives this memoir its zip. Fascinating reading for baseball fans. --Wes Lukowsky

Publisher's Weekly Review

Zimmer is a "lifer," having been involved with professional baseball for half a century. A native of Cincinnati, he signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1949; a powerful shortstop, he was the logical successor to Pee Wee Reese. Zimmer suffered several beanings that nearly cost him his life and never became the ballplayer he was projected to be. Still, "Popeye" so-called because of his bulging forearms did enjoy a successful major league career. A member of Brooklyn's only World Champion team in 1955, he then played on the Los Angeles Dodgers' first world championship team four years later. He tells riveting stories about the "Boys of Summer," like Billy Loes, Johnny Podres, Clem Labine and Duke Snider. Zimmer became a much-traveled utility infielder and spent his last year playing in Japan, where, he observed, the horses "ran backwards" at the racetrack. He recounts his stints as a manager in San Diego, Boston, Texas and Chicago, and as Joe Torres's bench coach during the 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000 Yankee World Championships. Zimmer pulls no punches in his evaluations of baseball celebrities like Hall of Fame pitcher Ferguson Jenkins, managers Don Baylor, Billy Martin and Joe Torre, and owners Eddie Chiles and George Steinbrenner. Zimmer's book is bluntly honest and filled with amusing anecdotes, a cut above the average baseball autobiography. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Zimmer has spent 53 years in baseball, and though he'll never make the Hall of Fame, he has become something of a national treasure. He began his career with the fabled Brooklyn Dodgers alongside Jackie Robinson. He has managed and coached many of the game's greats and has lately gained fame as Joe Torre's right-hand man. Ever since his recent dugout beaning by a foul ball, Zim has been seen in a New York Yankee army helmet, symbolic of his true grit. Readers nationwide will love this tale. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Prologuep. ix
Forewordp. xiii
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
1 Who Am I and How Did I Get Here?p. 1
2 Dodger Bluep. 13
3 Cubs to Casey to Homep. 47
4 From Washington Senator to Foreign Correspondentp. 61
5 Back to the Bushesp. 77
6 No Day at the Beachp. 95
7 Banned in Bostonp. 107
8 A Real Texas Gusherp. 143
9 Billybrawl and Two Reunionsp. 161
10 My Kind of Townp. 187
11 A Red Sox Redux and a "Rockie" Retirementp. 211
12 I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandyp. 229
Indexp. 279