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Rays

Zimmer will return as Rays' senior advisor

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Published:   |   Updated: March 13, 2013 at 11:28 PM
ST. PETERSBURG -

Don Zimmer will wear a new number on his Tampa Bay uniform in 2013: 65, representing his 65th year in professional baseball.

Zimmer, who turns 82 in January, will return for his 10th season as the Rays senior advisor, the team announced Thursday.

"I couldn't be happier," Zimmer said in a statement released by the team. "The organization has always been great to me. I can't thank them enough."

This will be Zimmer's 55th year at the major-league level as a player, coach, manager or senior advisor/coach. Last year, he wore No. 64 on his uniform.

"Zim has been a valuable resource not only for our players and coaching staff, but for our front office as well," Rays executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said. "We are excited that he will be returning for another season in our uniform and look forward to many more."

Zimmer undergoes daily dialysis treatment for his kidneys but is healthy enough to continue his role as coach and advisor during spring training and pregame practices before home games.

Last season, Zimmer was featured in a popular fan giveaway, the Zim Bear.

The Zimmer-faced teddy bear was first available June 29, when Tampa Bay hosted Detroit. Due to popular demand, the Rays had a second Zim Bear giveaway before a Rays-Yankees game Sept. 3.

The promotion turned the Zim Bear into an Internet and social media phenomenon that included a Twitter account (@WheresZimbear). A Google search on the term "Zim Bear" on Thursday produced about 3.2 million hits.

 

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