ST. Steve Francis Jersey . PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Don Zimmer wasnt a fixture in baseball forever. It just seemed that way. He played alongside Jackie Robinson on the only Brooklyn Dodgers team to win the World Series. He coached Derek Jeter on the New York Yankees latest dynasty. And his manager once was the illustrious Casey Stengel. For 66 years, Zimmer was a most popular presence at ballparks all over, a huge chaw often filling his cheek. Everyone in the game seemed to know him, and love him. Zimmer was still working for the Tampa Bay Rays as a senior adviser when he died Wednesday at a hospital in nearby Dunedin. He had been in a rehabilitation centre since having seven hours of heart surgery in mid-April. "Today we all lost a national treasure and a wonderful man," Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg said in a statement. Zimmer started out as a minor league infielder in 1949, hitting powerful shots that earned him the nickname "Popeye." He went on to enjoy one of the longest-lasting careers in baseball history. And oh, the stories he could tell. "I loved listening to him every day," Billy Connors, a coach under Zimmer with the Chicago Cubs, told The Associated Press. Zimmer played on the original New York Mets, saw his Boston Red Sox beaten by Bucky Dents playoff homer, got tossed to the ground by Pedro Martinez during a brawl and was Joe Torres right-hand man as the bench coach with the Yankees. "I hired him as a coach, and he became like a family member to me. He has certainly been a terrific credit to the game," Torre said in a statement. "The game was his life. And his passing is going to create a void in my life and my wife Alis. We loved him. The game of baseball lost a special person tonight. He was a good man," he said. A career .235 hitter in the big leagues, numbers could never define all that Zimmer meant to the game. He did have tremendous success, too -- his teams won six World Series rings and went to the post-season 19 times. Zimmers No. 66 Rays jersey had been worn recently by longtime Tampa Bay third base coach Tom Foley in tribute. The Rays hosted the Miami Marlins on Wednesday night, and Foley was crying in the dugout. Earlier this season, the Rays hung a banner in the front of the press box at Tropicana Field that simply read "ZIM." There was a moment of silence at Dodger Stadium for Zimmer before Los Angeles played the Chicago White Sox. "On behalf of Major League Baseball and the many clubs that Popeye served in a distinguished baseball life, I extend my deepest condolences to Dons family, friends and his many admirers throughout our game," Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. Zimmers biggest admirer was his wife "Soot" -- they were married at home plate during a minor league game in 1951. Two years later in the minors, Zimmers path took a frightening turn -- he was beaned by a fastball and left in a coma, and doctors had to put metal screws in his head. He recovered well enough to wear a lot of uniforms during his 56 years in the majors. He played for the Dodgers, Mets, Cubs, Cincinnati and Washington. He managed San Diego, Boston, Texas and the Cubs. "Probably the best baseball man I knew," Connors said. Yankees executive Hank Steinbrenner echoed that sentiment. "I loved Zim. I loved his passion. He was a great, great guy. He was a great baseball guy," he told the AP. "Everybody loved him." Steinbrenner, son of late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, said Torre and Zimmer were the "perfect team" during New Yorks run that brought four titles in a five-year span. "Joe was low-keyed. Zim would get fired up. He was a bench coach for real," Steinbrenner said. "He was an extremely important part of the 1990s success." Zimmer hit 91 home runs and had 352 RBIs in 12 seasons. He started Game 7 when Brooklyn beat the Yankees for the 1955 crown and was an All-Star in 1961. The next year, he played under Stengel on the 1962 expansion Mets, who famously went 40-120. "Dont blame them all on me," Zimmer once said. "I got traded after the first 30 days." Zimmer was the 1989 NL Manager of the Year with the Cubs and was at Yankee Stadium for three perfect games, by Don Larsen in the 1956 World Series and by David Cone and David Wells in the late 1990s. "Its a sad day for the game of baseball," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said after a 3-2 loss at San Diego. "Don impacted lives from the time he put a uniform on in the minor leagues until today." Zimmer is survived by his wife; son Thomas, a scout with the San Francisco Giants; daughter Donna, and four grandchildren. Tracy McGrady Jersey .com) - On a night the Bulls played without Derrick Rose, it was time for Pau Gasol to take charge. Nene Jersey . Atletico Madrid made it three wins from three thanks to a double from in-form striker Diego Costa in a 3-0 victory at Austria Vienna, leaving the Spanish side on the brink of the last 16 already to continue its brilliant start to the season. CLEVELAND -- Over the course of a long season, every team will experience some difficult losses. The Los Angeles Angels endured a really difficult one Thursday. Ernesto Frieri gave up a two-out grand slam to Nick Swisher in the 10th inning and the Cleveland Indians sent the Angels to a 5-3 loss on the final stop of a six-game road trip. The Angels were on the verge of a satisfying win after Albert Pujols two-run single gave them a 3-1 lead in the top of the 10th. Angels manager Mike Scioscia used rookie reliever Cam Bedrosian (0-1) to begin the bottom half and Frieri finished off the loss. "Ernie has been struggling a bit and we wanted to give them a fresh look," Scioscia said. "(Bedrosian) is a guy they hadnt seen and we hoped that he could make some pitches. Got close, he couldnt get it done." Frieri has given up six runs in his last three outings, including four Saturday in Atlanta and another on Tuesday against the Indians. "Today I missed a pitch again and I got hurt. It cost us the win," Frieri said. "Im fighting, man. I dont know. Been working, been watching videos, asking questions. It feels like nothing wants to go my way." Even though the calendar says its June, the loss wasnt easy to take. Starting pitcher C.J. Wilson, who allowed one run in seven innings, knows how important it is to not let games like this get away. "Were running out of games. Were almost halfway through the season and we need to win," Wilson said. "We cant afford to lose games like this." Swisher had gone 0 for 4 with three strikeouts before he hit a 1-2 pitch into the right-field seats to cap an improbable comeback. Pujols put the Angels ahead when he slapped a 3-2 pitch from Scott Atchison through the open right side of the infield to break a 1-all tie. The Indians were playing the slugger to pull. "Youve got to take something away, fortunately we were able to come back and win the game," Indians manager Terry Francona said. &qquot;Wed do it again, but it was hard to see that ball go through the infield. Chris Paul Jersey. " Atchison struck out the first two hitters in the 10th before Kole Calhoun singled. Mike Trouts double, extending his hitting streak to 13 games, moved Calhoun to third. Trout also walked twice and has reached base safely in 36 of his last 37 games. Hes batting .407 (35 for 86) in his last 23 games. The Indians responded off Bedrosian (0-1). Michael Bourn drew a leadoff walk and took third on Jason Kipnis one-out double. Carlos Santana walked to load the bases and Frieri replaced Bedrosian. David Murphy flied out before Swisher delivered. Kyle Crockett (1-0) retired the final hitter in the 10th for his first major league win. Wilson and Justin Masterson both allowed one run in seven innings. Both pitchers had their starts pushed back by Wednesday nights rainout. Mastersons wild pitch put Los Angeles ahead in the second, but Bourn tied it with an RBI groundout in the third. Masterson held the Angels to four hits, walked three and hit a batter. Wilson allowed three hits, walked four and struck out six. Howie Kendrick doubled with one out in the second and took third on a groundout. With David Freese batting, Mastersons low and outside pitch skipped past catcher Yan Gomes, allowing Kendrick to score. Gomes led off the third with a single for Clevelands first hit. He moved to third on a walk and a fielders choice, and scored on Bourns grounder. NOTES: The teams will make up Wednesdays rainout on a mutual day off at Progressive Field, with July 28 being the most likely possibility. The Angels begin a series in Baltimore the following day while the Indians start a homestand the next day. ... Angels LHP Tyler Skaggs (strained right hamstring) is expected to throw a simulated game Friday. ... The Angels, who finished 2-4 on their trip, return home for six games, beginning Friday against Texas. RHP Garrett Richards (6-2) will pitch the opener. Cheap Arizona Cardinals Jerseys Cheap Falcons Jerseys Cheap Ravens Jerseys Cheap Bills Jerseys Cheap Panthers Jerseys Cheap Bears Jerseys Cheap Bengals JerseysCheap Browns Jerseys Cheap Cowboys Jerseys Cheap Broncos Jerseys Cheap Lions Jerseys Cheap Packers Jerseys Cheap Texans Jerseys Cheap Colts Jerseys Cheap Jaguars JerseysCheap Chiefs Jerseys ' ' '
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