Former teammates reflect Jordan Zimmermann’s lasting legacy at UW-Stevens Point
STEVENS POINT Wis. (WSAW) -Jordan Zimmermann’s retirement after over a decade in the big leagues has given his teammates, coaches, and friends a chance to reflect on his legacy.
At UW-Stevens Point, he shattered expectations of what was possible for a Division-III baseball player in central Wisconsin, and now, he’ll continue to impact the program for a long time to come.
Zimmermann didn’t exactly make his presence known right away when he arrived in Point.
“You know just meeting this fella I was like, this guy doesn’t talk, he doesn’t say anything,” says Tim Schlosser, Zimmermann’s former teammate with the Pointers.
He let his play do the talking, and by his sophomore year in 2006, he was the alpha dog on a UWSP team that went to the D-III College World Series.
When asked if the Pointers would have made the College World Series in 2006 without Zimmermann, his former teammate Jake Frombach says, “No, no, I wouldn’t say that to him, but to you, we needed him.”
The thought of Zimmermann being a major league prospect didn’t occur until the following winter.
“Winter of ’06, when we came back from winter break, you know all of a sudden, Jordan made a big jump on the radar gun where he’s upper 80′s, low 90′s,” explains Zimmermann’s former teammate with UWSP, Mike Thrun. “That was kind of the moment, it was like, he’s a really special kid. He’s a dude.”
“Playing second base when Jordan was pitching that whole season, I would get glares off the radar guns,” says Schlosser. “Because every pitch, it was gun up.”
That 2007 season saw Zimmermann lead the Pointers back to the World Series, and led to him being taken by the Washington Nationals in the second round of the draft.
Something nobody around the program thought was a possibility before he did it.
“Second rounder, that was something different, that was something special,” says Nat Richter, current UWSP baseball head coach and a former teammate of Zimmermann. “I didn’t think that we’d have one.”
“It’s competitive college baseball, but you don’t expect to have the chance to get drafted,” Schlosser says.
“I don’t think pro ball was really on our radar until Jordan came through,” Thrun said. “Then you realize that that is attainable at any level really.”
Zimmermann’s impact at Point is pretty clear: He not only raised the bar for what’s possible, he’s also supported the program financially. and in retirement, he might be able to devote more time to Pointer baseball than ever before.
“That scoreboard (at Zimmermann Field) is pretty cool,” Richter says. “The netting is nice and brand new, certainly the batting cages are pretty nice.
“It just shows that he still cares about this place. We talk quite a bit about Pointer baseball, more than Brewer baseball actually. He’s completely invested.”
Copyright 2021 WSAW. All rights reserved.