Even if the Nationals Lose the World Series, Ryan Zimmerman Still Wins

League Championship Series - St Louis Cardinals v Washington Nationals - Game Four
League Championship Series - St Louis Cardinals v Washington Nationals - Game Four / Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Washington Nationals did the unthinkable. A 19-31 team back in May, they won the National League pennant on Tuesday night by sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals to clinch the city's first trip to the World Series since the Washington Senators did so back in 1933.

While irrepressible veteran Howie Kendrick won the NLCS MVP trophy, there was no bigger winner than Ryan Zimmerman. Even if the Nationals fall short against either the Houston Astros or New York Yankees in the Fall Classic, Zimmerman is still a big, big winner-- because he's the ultimate surivivor.

Zimmerman became the face of a franchise who relocated from Montreal to the DC area when he became the team's first-ever draft pick in 2005. In his first full season in 2006, Zimmerman proved to be worthy of the fourth overall pick. Yet, like all relocating teams, the Nationals were a middling bunch, with Zimmerman being one of the only bright spots on a club that finished 20 games below .500.

After the team drafted Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper first overall in 2009 and 2010, the Nationals finally appeared to be on the way to reaching their full potential. But throughout all those changes, Zimmerman was the constant.

The hard times still came for Washington, who went from bottom-dwellers in the NL East to MLB postseason chokers. Never had Washington advanced past the NLDS in in their four previous trips (2012, 2014, 2016, 2017).

But unlike other players who bounce to other teams to reach their goal of hoisting the Commissioner's Trophy, Zimmerman stayed put, like a true franchise stalwart would. Harper, for his part, moved to the Philadelphia Phillies last offseason in free agency in order to win a championship.

Yet, it's Ryan Zimmerman who has the last laugh and Harper who's on his couch watching the postseason on television. At this point, no matter the end result, Zimmerman is already a winner here. And Nats fans couldn't possibly forget everything he invested and everything he sacrificed to get here.