Chicago Cubs: No. 17: David Ross
Normally, a backup catcher who doesn’t provide much offense wouldn’t even appear on a list like this. We can recite the numbers that David Ross put up while he played for the Chicago Cubs in 2015 and 2016 – and quite frankly, particularly in 2015, he wasn’t very good at the plate. Yet Ross appears at this point on the list because the scale of his impact cannot be measured by statistics.
Ross actually had a long, solid career as a backup catcher that started with the Los Angeles Dodgers back in 2002. He bounced around several places before landing with the Boston Red Sox in 2013 and 2014. It was there that he became Jon Lester‘s “personal catcher”, and when Lester signed with the Cubs before the 2015 season, the Cubs also brought Ross on board.
To this day, Cubs players and fans still speak highly of the veteran leadership that Ross provided in the dugout and clubhouse. And despite his lack of offensive production, he did come through in a big way in Game 7 of the World Series, homering off feared Cleveland Indians lefty Andrew Miller. Because of his intangible contributions to the Cubs during their 2016 championship run, Ross will always be a hero in Chicago.
Ross is currently a leading candidate for the Chicago Cubs’ managerial position. His candidacy has divided some Cubs fans. While some believe his leadership is what the Cubs need, others think that he needs coaching experience first and is too close to the players. If the Cubs go with Ross, we’ll have to try to put that aside and give him a chance.