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What makes Ryan Zimmerman the face of a franchise?

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In 2005, and following several MLB trade rumours, Ryan Zimmerman was among the first ever group of players to be drafted in by new franchise the Washington Nationals.

He was immediately sent down to the minor league to hone his skills, but it wasnít long before the former University of Virginia student was making headlines at the very top of Major League Baseball.

His statistics at the bat and in the field as the ball clubís starting third basemen are impressive, and his technical achievement out on the field have been recognised with Gold Glove and Silver Slugger accolades in the recent past.

But, in the modern era, strong technical displays are often not enough to cement your position in club folklore. You need to deliver something more and leave supporters in no doubt about the kind of man you are.

But there aspects to Zimmermanís relationship with the Nationals that put him a cut above most other players of the modern era.

Firstly, his approach to matches, regardless of the circumstances under each fixture is staged, is beyond question.

Here is a man whose attitude to pre-match preparation stands up to the stiffest scrutiny, and whose level of effort and consistency is of a standard unmatched by most running about in either league in 2012.

And away from baseball, Zimmerman displays those same lionhearted qualities.

Following the passing of his mother, he launched his own charitable foundation, which operates with the sole intention of finding a cure for multiple sclerosis (MS), the disease that took the life of the woman who raised him.

The ziMS foundation provides advice and support for MS supporters and those closest to them, and it generated thousands of dollar since its establishment, of which every cent has gone towards ridding the earth of this wretched disease and helping those battling against it.

Ryan Zimmerman, ranked by many as one of the true MLB picks of recent years, takes his role as a professional baseball player very seriously, and understands the importance of setting a positive example to others.

He has recently signed a new contract that will keep him at the Nationals until 2019, and it,s no surprise, but it is a shame there arenít more about like him.
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