Washington Nationals: Who will be first in the Hall of Fame as a National?
By Blake Finney
5 – Ryan Zimmerman (2%)
The final named player in our ranking of the most likely players to go into the Hall of Fame as a Washington Nationals player is Ryan Zimmerman. The face of the franchise may not quite have the resume as others on this list, but he does have all of the intangibles required.
Zimmerman has a career slash line of .279/.344/.477 with 264 home runs, 988 RBI and a slightly above average OPS+ of 117. Much like Jayson Werth, his resume isn’t the same as other players in the hall but has the off-field aspect that voters may look for.
He’s spent the entirety of his 14-year career with the Nationals, and that looks set to continue in 2019 and possibly for a few more years after that. That type of career is so rare these days where a lot of money has been paid to free agents to lure them away from their current teams. Zimmerman’s commitment to the team and community is outstanding.
Unfortunately, it’s the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Outstanding people off the field, so Zimmerman has a huge uphill struggle to get in. Some of the names that come up as similar to him through their age-33 season are players like David Wright, Scott Rolen, and Carlos Beltran, so he could at least appear on the ballot with a strong finish to his career.
Regardless of how slim his chances to actually make it into Cooperstown are, he’s a lock to have his name enshrined in the Nats’ Ring of Honor once he hangs up his cleats. He would also likely be the first player that donned the Curly W to have their number retired with the team. That honor feels about right for Mr. Walk-Off, a true franchise hero.