Don Zimmer dies at 83 - KMSP-TV

Don Zimmer dies at 83

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Don Zimmer during the 2000 World Series at Yankee Stadium. (AP photo/Amy Sancetta) Don Zimmer during the 2000 World Series at Yankee Stadium. (AP photo/Amy Sancetta)

Former major league manager, coach and player Don Zimmer died Wednesday, according to the Tampa Bay Rays. He was 83.

Zimmer had been in a rehabilitation center in Florida since having heart surgery in mid-April, the AP reported.

He spent more than 60 years in baseball. Most recently, he served as a senior adviser for the Rays. Zimmer also was a coach for the New York Yankees from 1996 to 2003, during which the team won four World Series titles and six American League pennants. Joe Torre, who was manager of the Yankees during those years and is now an executive for Major League Baseball, issued a statement about his old friend.

"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. "The game was his life. And his passing is going to create a void in my life and my wife Ali's. We loved him. The game of Baseball lost a special person tonight. He was a good man."

Zimmer managed the San Diego Padres, Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers, and Chicago Cubs.

Zimmer -- whose nicknames included Popeye, Zip, and the Gerbil -- was a utility infielder for 12 seasons with the Dodgers, Cubs, Mets, Reds, and Senators.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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