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Chicago Cubs: David Ross walks off into the sunset as a champion

Nov 2, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Chicago Cubs catcher David Ross (3) celebrates after hitting a solo home run against the Cleveland Indians in the sixth inning in game seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 2, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Chicago Cubs catcher David Ross (3) celebrates after hitting a solo home run against the Cleveland Indians in the sixth inning in game seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports /
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At the beginning of the year, one member of this Chicago Cubs team let the world know it was his last rodeo. Putting together a bucket list which would end with a World Series title.

A. 166 AB, 38 H, 6 2B, 10 HR, 32 RBI, .229 AVG, .981 FDPCT. C. Chicago Cubs. DAVID ROSS

Not only was it Chicago Cubs catcher David Ross‘s final year as a big league player, it just so happened to be one final ride for David Ortiz as well. Two men who spent time together as teammates with the Boston Red Sox.

At one point, the two men sat at the top of our little baseball world as World Series champions alongside John Lackey and Jon Lester. All four men entered the new campaign wanting to win another ring.

As we all know, the Cubs ended up being the team to take down the Cleveland Indians. A team that ran through the American League. It all began with Ortiz and the Boston Red Sox.

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Honestly, I was hoping for the Cubs and Red Sox to matchup in the Fall Classic, putting Ross and Ortiz against each other. It didn’t work out that way but at least Ross was able to ride off into the sunset as a champion.

Before we jump into his postseason performance, let’s reflect on his magical 2016 regular season campaign. It looked as if he had another year left in him and some even questioned his decision to retire.

Year of Ross

I mean, how could he retire after the numbers he put up? Sure, they’re nowhere near Kris Bryant or Anthony Rizzo but it was rather impressive for a 39-year-old catcher. In 2015, he only managed to launch one home run while driving in nine in the process.

Safe to say his first year as a Cub did not go as expected. However, he provided Chicago with the veteran leadership that they needed. Not to take away from anyone else on the team but Ross emerged as one of the most beloved Cubs in history.

This time around, Ross was playing like he was 10-years younger. Swatting 10 big flies and tallying a third-career best 32 RBI. His highest RBI total since 2007 (39) as a member of the Cincinnati Reds.

Milestone

A few career milestones were reached as he caught his first no-hitter in Cincinnati with Jake Arrieta on the mound on April 21st. Last time Arrieta pitched a no-hitter, Ross was at the hospital with his family while Jake was doing his thing on the mound in Los Angeles.

And then he decided to round the bases for the 100th time in his seasoned career on May 27th with Philadelphia visiting the Cubs in Chicago. During the Cubs final home game, Joe Maddon made the decision to remove him earlier than expected, allowing the fans to give him a standing ovation.

Something that he has said he would never forget. It wouldn’t be the last time we would cheer for him. Postseason time. Out of eight total postseason games, Grandpa Rossy came up with four huge hits.

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His first hit of the postseason came in Game 3 of the NLDS in San Francisco. He hit a two-run homer, ending the day 1-for-3. Ross later doubled against the team he debuted with, the Dodgers on October 20th.

Fast forward to the final game of the season which was Game 7 of the World Series. David Ross became the oldest player to ever homer in Game 7 of the Fall Classic when he took Andrew Miller deep to center field.

At the end of the night, his teammates hoisted him up onto their shoulders and carried him around the field as they celebrated. A storybook ending.

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