Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman will be honored with the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award, presented to the major league player who best exemplifies the character of the Hall of Famer on and off the field.
Zimmerman was honored for his charitable work, notably his ziMS Foundation, which he founded to raise money for a cure for multiple sclerosis, the disease his monther Cheryl suffers from. Zimmerman will be presented with the award before the Nationals game against Colorado on July 6.
Soon after being drafted in 2005, Zimmerman started his foundation, and created a golf tournament and a yearly event at Nationals Park. Zimmerman’s contract stipulated that he be given full use of the stadium one day a year for an event, Night at the Park, that raises money for his charity. In 2011, the event raised more than $300,000.
The award is given by the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity at Columbia University, Gehrig’s college fraternity. Zimmerman is the first National or Expo to be honored. Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter was honored last year, and Angels first baseman Albert Pujols and Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino the previous two years.
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