Home run for healthcare heroes: VA Beach's Zimmerman, wife raise $300,000+ for medical workers

Posted at 4:10 PM, Apr 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-22 19:05:06-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - With the Major League Baseball season still on hold due to the coronavirus, these days Washington Nationals star Ryan Zimmerman isn't even picking up a bat.

"Staying in shape isn't a problem, but there's really nowhere to do baseball stuff," Zimmerman told News 3 Sports Director Adam Winkler.

And while the Virginia Beach product and former UVA standout is not trying to hit a fastball or curveball - it's a snowball he and his wife Heather are now seeing.

"It snowballed in a really good way," Heather said, smiling.

Last week, the couple launched Pros for Heroes, a COVID-19 relief fund raising money to provide supplies and meals to healthcare professionals. Donations have already surpassed $315,000. However, funds and food are not all being delivered. Zimmerman, the reigning World Series champion, frequently chats with hospital workers via Zoom teleconference.

"It's very rewarding for us," Zimmerman, the Kellam High School alumnus, admitted. "It's heavy. You get an inside look at these people protected from head-to-toe."

The work of doctors, nurses and caregivers hits home for Zimmerman. His mother Cheryl, currently a resident of Sandbridge in Virginia Beach, has been living with Multiple Sclerosis for 25 years and is the inspiration for the ziMS Foundation.

"People that have taken care of and helped my mom throughout the years, obviously we've had a close connection with them," Zimmerman explained. "Maybe this is just following up on past debts due? We appreciate what they're doing not only up here in DC, but down in Virginia Beach and across the whole world."

He might not be picking up a bat these days, but Ryan Zimmerman is showing he can still step up to the plate and deliver.