WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — Ryan Zimmerman’s 5th annual “A Night at the Park” brought together a string of Nationals teammates on a rare day off, all in the name of research for Multiple sclerosis, which his mother, Cheryl, has suffered from since 1995.
The theme is simple: an evening at Nationals Park, allowing fans to see a unique side to their favorite players, concluded with country musical performances from Jerrod Neimann and Billy Currington.
All proceeds from the event each year go directly to the ziMS foundation, which helps fight MS, a crippling disease which attack’s the body’s central nervous system.
Many players were in attendance, including Jordan Zimmermann, Ian Desmond, Aaron Barrett, Drew Storen, Ross Detwiler, Scott Hairston, Gio Gonzalez and others, of course.
“It’s heartwarming to see Ryan do this,” said Hairston. “Ryan, as you guys know, is a first-class individual. I know it’s with best intentions we’re all here supporting him. This just shows the character of him; he’s not just a baseball player, he’s a first-class human being.”
“I’ve been here for multiple years, and to see how much it’s grown, it’s really special. It was a fun day for us,” said Storen. “You can’t say enough good things about Ryan. He’s a top-notch teammate, and obviously does great things for his community, and that’s part of one of the reasons why he’s such a big hit here in D.C. He does great on the field, but off the field he’s even better.”
“It’s special,” said Zimmerman of the fifth-year event. “To be able to have the foundation, and do things obviously for my mom, but a lot of the other people that we’ve met along the way that are affecting by the same disease, it’s for them as well.
“Like I was telling these guys, none of this would be possible without the people of D.C., and the metro area here. It’s become, pretty much, my home. I’ve been here from age 20 to 30, now, so it’s shaped me. Those are ten pretty important years in your life, and I’ve been the majority of the time here, so I can’t thank the people from this area enough for what they do, for me and my family and the foundation.”
In total, over $100,000 was raised at the event, Mark Zuckerman reports.
(Quotes courtesy of WNEW reporter Cam Thompson.)