WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- When Ryan Zimmerman first joined the Washington Nationals, the franchise was in its first season after moving from Montreal, and playing its home games at RFK Stadium.
Fourteen years later, Zimmerman and his teammates are preparing for the first World Series appearance in team history. The Nationals will face the Houston Astros in this year's Fall Classic, with Game 1 set for Tuesday night in Houston.
"The organization has come a long way. The city has come a long way," Zimmerman said. "So I'm proud of where we're at now."
The No. 4 overall pick out of Virginia in the 2005 MLB Draft, Zimmerman made his big league debut later that season. No one has appeared in more games in a Nationals uniform than Zimmerman (1,689). He's also the franchise's all-time leader in home runs (270), RBI (1,015), hits (1,784) and runs scored (936), among other statistics.
Zimmerman is the longest-tenured current athlete on any DC sports team, having made his MLB debut about a month before Alex Ovechkin debuted for the Capitals. In 2018, Zimmernan watched as Ovechkin and the Caps won that franchise's first Stanley Cup.
So Zimmerman appreciates the excitement that has built around the Nationals as the team tries to make its own postseason history.
"You definitely get text messages from people. And some calls. But not too many, honestly," he said. "I think people are just excited. And I grew up around this area, so there's a lot of people that have helped me get to this point. And I feel like they're just as excited as we are, so it's fun to hear from those people."