As we say goodbye (at least for the time being) to one veteran catcher, we can say congrats to another veteran catcher who is currently on a low-key farewell tour. David Ross, who was drafted by the Dodgers in 1998 and remained within the franchise for eight years (including 2+ seasons in Los Angeles), plays for the visiting Cubs and will be retiring after a fifteen year Major League career at the end of this season.
David is far from a superstar or household name, but he commands respect. Nicknamed "Rossy" but also called "Grandpa" by his Chicago Cubs teammates, David Ross has become the glue that keeps Chicago humming this season. Per Anthony Rizzo in an article at The Players' Tribune:
I actually first met Rossy a few years ago when he was still with the Red Sox. We were both in Bristol doing the ESPN car wash. We had lunch one day, and for like an hour and a half, he was talking baseball, and I was just sitting there … listening. The next time I talked to my agent — who was also Rossy’s agent — I said to him, “That’s exactly what we need in our clubhouse to become a better team: A guy like David Ross.” Thankfully, we ended up signing him before last season.And now his team sits fourteen games above their nearest competitor in the NL Central Division.
Per Mark Gonzalez at the Chicago Tribune:
"I'm just excited about going back to where it all started," said Ross, who is retiring after 15 major-league seasons. "Being on the West Coast was different for a guy being from Florida. The whole California thing was just different than how I was raised and how things are out here."I want to also note that boith Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant maintain a hilarious Instagram account in honor of Ross. It is called: grandparossy_3. You should check it out.
Ross will make a presentation Friday to Dodgers Hall of Fame announcer Vin Scully and hopes to see many familiar faces, from former Dodgers pitching great Don Newcombe to photographer Jon Soo Hoo, who introduced him to several state-of-the-art high-tech products..
"There was so much history with that organization," Ross said. "People forget about it because history isn't talked about as much. You're surrounded by it in Vero Beach in the meeting rooms.
"And now looking back at all the other franchises I've been a part of, going back and seeing how things have transpired just in that organization or since my career, is pretty amazing."
First baseball card was in black and white!
In celebration of Ross' return to franchise that reared him I made the above two fantasy cards in his honor. For the card on the left I used a Getty photograph and the 1952 Topps Baseball card design. The card on the right uses a photograph taken by Dino Vournas / AP on an 1977 Topps Baseball card design.
Check out David Ross' career stats via Baseball-Reference below:
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