The Chicago Cubs ended the 108-year drought on Wednesday night, defeating the Cleveland Indians in extra innings. Grandpa Rossy has been a huge part of their success all season, on the field, and especially off, mentoring the young guns who played a vital role in the success of this team all year long.
I don’t think veteran Chicago Cubs catcher David Ross could have written up this ending any better. Playing in his last season in the big leagues, and he is a World Series champion.
The influence of Grandpa Rossy
In the playoffs, he only hit .250 in 16 at-bats but went deep twice which proved to be huge hits. The most notable one being in Game 7 on Wednesday night when he went deep off Indians stud Reliever Andrew Miller, who looked practically unhittable up to that point in the postseason.
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Having a guy like Ross on your bench day in and day out, was like the Cubs having a player-coach who could mentor the young guys. Ross had just finished up his 14th year in the big leagues, mainly spending the majority of those years behind the plate.
Being a catcher, you see the entire game, and honestly, that’s why catchers make the best managers. With a team with so many young players, Ross played a vital role in being a mentor for them. With a roster filled with so many guys in their early 20’s, it is amazing they won the World Series.
But this is why. These young guys are top end talent, but that will only take you so far. They were mature, they had experience in the playoffs, and they had veteran guys on the Cubs roster to help them get through slumps and tough times like Ross.
Special bond between Rizzo and Ross
When Anthony Rizzo spoke at the Cubs celebration parade, he teared up talking about the unique relationship he has with David Ross. In fact, the reason Ross ever came over to the Cubs, was because of Rizzo.
“Gramps and I sat down a few years ago in the offseason before his last year with Boston,” Rizzo said. “He was a free agent. We just talked. We have the same agency, and we’re talking, and I said to my agent, ‘Man, this is exactly what the Chicago Cubs need, he’s exactly what we need to bring everything together.’, Rizzo said in Friday’s parade.
“He taught myself personally how to become a real winner,” said Rizzo, “He’s like a brother to me. He’s taught me a lot in life on the field, off the field, how to be a better person. I’m forever grateful for him. He’s going out a champion forever. For the rest of his life, he can say, the last game he played in, he’s a world champion.”
I don’t think people understand how important it was to have a guy like David Ross on the Cubs roster. Sure, he’s 39 years old, washed-up you could say, can’t perform like he used to. But when you have a guy who has so much experience at the big league level on a team with relatively young players, it’s such a benefit.
Plus he’s been in this situation before in the playoffs, most notably when he won a ring in 2013 with the Red Sox. He knows how to handle it. We will never really know how much of an impact Ross made as a mentor for his teammates, but I’m certain it definitely played a vital role.
Going out a champion
A 14-year career ending in style. His career couldn’t have ended in any better way. I would not be at all surprised if you see the Cubs bring back David Ross as a coach in the next year or two. Considering what he’s done for this team on and off the field, I think it would be an obvious decision.
Farewell, David Ross.