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David Wade Ross (born March 19, 1977) is an American former professional baseball catcher who played for 14 years in Major League Baseball (MLB). Ross played college baseball for Auburn University and the University of Florida and participated in two College World Series. He started his major league career playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2002 and also played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, San Diego Padres, Cincinnati Reds, Boston Red Sox, Atlanta Braves, and Chicago Cubs. Ross won the World Series with the Boston Red Sox in 2013 and the Chicago Cubs in 2016.

David Ross
David Ross on June 30, 2016.jpg
Ross with the Chicago Cubs in 2016
Born: (1977-03-19) March 19, 1977 (age 42)
Bainbridge, Georgia
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
June 29, 2002, for the Los Angeles Dodgers
Last MLB appearance
October 1, 2016, for the Chicago Cubs
MLB statistics
Batting average.229
Home runs106
Runs batted in314
Career highlights and awards

Early years

Ross was born in Bainbridge, Georgia in 1977, but was raised in Tallahassee, Florida.[1] He was born into a family of athletes - his father, David Ross, Sr., played in a men's softball league, and his mother, Jackie, played basketball. Ross's uncles were both football players in college.[2] He attended Florida State University's laboratory school, Florida High School, in Tallahassee, Florida, where he played high school baseball for the Florida High School Demons.[3] Ross was the second of three children; he has an older sister, Shannon, and a younger sister, Nikki.[4]

College career

Ross received an athletic scholarship to attend Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama, where he played college baseball for the Auburn Tigers baseball team from 1996 to 1997. The defining moment of his college career came in the semifinal of the East Regional tournament during the 1997 College World Series when he hit a walk-off 3 run home run against Florida State to advance to the regional final. The Auburn Tigers would advance to the College World Series, getting knocked out in the 2nd round by Stanford. He transferred to the University of Florida after the 1997 season, and played one additional season of college baseball for the Florida Gators baseball team in 1998. Ross is one of the few players to have ever played in the College World Series with two different colleges, first with the Tigers in 1997, and then the Gators in 1998. Ross decided to forgo his final season of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) eligibility after his junior season with the Gators, when he was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers.[citation needed]

MLB career

Los Angeles Dodgers

Ross was originally drafted in the 19th round of the 1995 amateur draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers, but did not sign and instead accepted a scholarship to attend Auburn University. In 1998, the Dodgers selected Ross again in the 7th round of the amateur draft.[3]

Ross made his MLB debut on June 29, 2002, striking out as a pinch hitter. On September 2, 2002, with the Dodgers winning 18–0,[5] the Diamondbacks put first baseman Mark Grace in to pitch, after he volunteered, to rest the bullpen. Ross hit his 1st major league home run off Grace with two outs in the 9th inning, capping a 19-1 win. Ross's Dodger career was stalled, however, by the large number of catchers in the Dodger system. Paul Lo Duca was the starting catcher through most of Ross's time in Los Angeles, and teammates like Brent Mayne, Koyie Hill, and Todd Hundley competed with him for playing time. Ross was with the team until 2004.[5]

Ross hit six home runs in his first 27 career at-bats, spanning from 2002 to 2003, the 3rd most in the first 27 career at-bats in Dodgers history.

Pittsburgh Pirates / San Diego Padres

The Dodgers sold Ross's contract to the Pittsburgh Pirates on March 30, 2005. After 40 games with the Pirates, he was traded to the San Diego Padres on July 28, 2005 for infielder J. J. Furmaniak. He played in 11 games with the Padres.[citation needed]

Cincinnati Reds

Ross playing for the Cincinnati Reds in 2008

The Padres traded Ross to the Cincinnati Reds during spring training for the 2006 season. On January 15, 2006, Ross signed a two-year, $4.54 million contract with the Reds.[citation needed]

While Ross was most often used as the "personal catcher" for right-hander Bronson Arroyo, whom the Reds received in a spring training trade with the Boston Red Sox for outfielder Wily Mo Peña, the consensus among Reds fans was that Ross had proven himself deserving of being the number-one catcher due to his better offensive numbers and that one of the other Reds catchers, Jason LaRue or Javier Valentín, should have been traded (possibly as part of a package deal) for a relief pitcher. LaRue was the one most frequently cited, but no deal was made by the July 31 trade deadline. Ostensibly, Ross was the number-one catcher.

On November 20, 2006, LaRue was traded to the Kansas City Royals for a player to be named later. Ross's 2007 season started with 4 hits in 38 at-bats with no home runs and 17 strikeouts. On April 21, 2007, his slump hit rock bottom when with runners on first and second base, he grounded into a rare 5–4–3 triple play against the Philadelphia Phillies. Ross finished the 2007 season with a .203 batting average and 17 home runs. On August 10, 2008, Ross was designated for assignment and was released on August 18.

Boston Red Sox

Ross signed a minor-league contract with the Boston Red Sox[6] on August 22, 2008. He came up to the MLB club on August 29 and became a free agent after the season.[7]

Atlanta Braves

The Atlanta Braves signed Ross to a two-year, $3 million deal on December 5, 2008.[8]

In 2009, Ross hit .273 in 54 games. On July 27, 2010, he signed a two-year extension to stay with the Braves through 2012.[9] He managed to hit a career high .289 for the Braves in 59 games in 2010.

Ross was the Atlanta Braves secondary catcher behind Brian McCann for his four seasons with the Braves. His hot start in the 2011 season (hitting .333 after starting 7 games, with 3 home runs) highlighted his strengths, as Ross has always been known as a strong defensive catcher (in 2009, he committed one error in 52 games). Ross hit the first ever home run in the Wild Card Game when the new playoff format was introduced in 2012.

Boston Red Sox (second stint)

Ross with the Red Sox in 2014

Ross signed a two-year, $6.2 million deal on November 10, 2012, to return to the Red Sox as "more than a backup but not a starter"[10] behind primary catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

Ross suffered two concussions during the 2013 season and spent over two months on the disabled list; however, his health returned and he played a key role in Boston's run to the World Series championship over the St. Louis Cardinals that year, starting in four games during the series and driving in the game-winning run with an RBI double in Game 5. He was also behind the plate to catch the series-clinching out in Game 6 when Koji Uehara struck out Matt Carpenter.

In 2014, Ross played as Jon Lester's personal catcher.

Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs announced on December 23, 2014, that they had signed Ross to a two-year, $5 million contract.[11]

On May 9, 2015, in his first appearance as a pitcher in his professional baseball career, Ross recorded a perfect inning against the Milwaukee Brewers.[12] On July 26, he repeated the feat against the Philadelphia Phillies, then led off the next inning by hitting a home run off of Héctor Neris.[13]

On April 21, 2016, Ross caught his first no-hitter, against the Cincinnati Reds, his former team, with starting pitcher Jake Arrieta. Ross hit his 100th home run off of Adam Morgan of the Philadelphia Phillies on May 27, 2016.

Ross announced his plans to retire following the 2016 season, after playing 15 seasons in the major leagues. During Game 7 of the 2016 MLB World Series, Ross hit a home run making him the oldest player to do so in World Series history.[14] On January 14, 2017, the Cubs named Ross as a special assistant to baseball operations for the 2017 season.[15]

Kansas Stars

Following his retirement from the MLB, Ross joined the Kansas Stars, an independent baseball team made of former MLB stars who play an abbreviated tournament lasting a few weeks out of the year.[16]

Dancing with the Stars

On March 1, 2017, Ross was revealed as one of the contestants on season 24 of Dancing with the Stars and was paired with professional dancer Lindsay Arnold.[17] Ross is the first professional baseball player ever to compete on the show.[18] Despite only having the sixth-highest scoring average, Ross and Arnold outlasted higher-scoring couples and ended up placing runner-up to winner Rashad Jennings and partner Emma Slater.

Personal life

Ross is married to his high school sweetheart, Hyla Ross. She is a licensed pediatric nurse in the ICU and is heavily involved in charity work. Together they have three children.[19] As of 2016, they resided in Tallahassee, Florida.[20]

Ross is a Christian.[21]


Ross announced that he was going to retire after his final championship season with the Chicago Cubs.[22] Since his retirement, Ross has worked with several Chicago charities including Cradle to Crayons that benefits underprivileged Chicago youth.

Ross worked with author Don Yaegar, on a book titled Teammate: My Life in Baseball, which was published in May 2017.[23]

He has made an appearance on Saturday Night Live, along with some of his teammates, to celebrate the Cubs championship win.[24] Ross has also made an appearance in the recent commercials for "The Bryzzo Souvenir Company". He is an intern trying to meet the standards and requests of his bosses, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo.[25]

ESPN hired Ross as a baseball color analyst in January 2017.[26]

See also


  1. ^ "David Ross' Parents Crossed State Lines To Give Birth To Red Sox Catcher". May 1, 2014. Retrieved May 6, 2017.
  2. ^ "David Ross' retirement means more family time". Major League Baseball. Retrieved May 6, 2017.
  3. ^ a b David Waldstein (November 3, 2016). "David Ross, Oldest Player in World Series, Ends Career in Climactic Game 7". New York Times.
  4. ^ "Friends, family of David Ross celebrate achievement". Tallahassee Democrat. Retrieved May 6, 2017.
  5. ^ a b September 2, 2002 Los Angeles Dodgers at Arizona Diamondbacks Play by Play and Box Score –
  6. ^ Steve Silva (August 21, 2008). "Report: Sox sign catcher Ross to minor-league deal". Boston Globe. Retrieved October 23, 2013.
  7. ^ Mark Remme (August 29, 2008). "Sox call up Ross, send Casey to DL". Retrieved August 30, 2008.
  8. ^ Bowman, Mark (December 5, 2008). "Braves sign Ross to two-year deal". Retrieved November 18, 2009.
  9. ^ Rosenthal, Ken (July 27, 2010). "Report: Ross, Braves reach two-year extension". NBC Sports. Archived from the original on October 9, 2012. Retrieved February 9, 2016.
  10. ^ Rosenthal, Ken (November 10, 2012). "Red Sox, Ross agree to two-year deal". Fox Sports.
  11. ^ Sullivan, Paul (December 23, 2014). "Catcher David Ross officially signs two-year deal with Cubs". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved December 23, 2014.
  12. ^ Hoehn, Jim (May 9, 2015). "Catcher Ross pitches a perfect eighth inning". Retrieved April 25, 2016.
  13. ^ Garno, Greg (July 26, 2015). "Ross pitches perfect ninth, homers for Cubs". Retrieved April 25, 2016.
  14. ^ Smith, Alex (November 2, 2016). "Former SEC star David Ross makes World Series history in final career game". SEC Country. Retrieved November 2, 2016.
  15. ^ "Cubs Name David Ross Special Assistant to Baseball Operations". NBC Chicago. Retrieved February 28, 2017.
  16. ^ Hawley, Larry (July 10, 2017). "Former Cubs catcher David Ross is returning to diamond – for the Kansas Stars". WGN9.
  17. ^ "'Dancing With the Stars' 2017: Season 24 celebrity cast and partners revealed on 'GMA'". ABC News. March 1, 2016. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  18. ^ Kubicek, John. "'Dancing with the Stars' Recap: The Magical World of Disney Night John". Buddy TV. Archived from the original on April 18, 2017. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
  19. ^ "David Ross' retirement means more family time". Major League Baseball. Retrieved May 2, 2017.
  20. ^ "David Ross' retirement means more family time".
  21. ^ "David Ross Speaker & Agent Info: Christian Speakers 360".
  22. ^ "Cubs Announce New Role for David Ross". NBC Chicago. Retrieved May 6, 2017.
  23. ^ "David Ross is writing a book about his career and Game 7 of the World Series". Major League Baseball. Retrieved May 6, 2017.
  24. ^ "The Cubs will appear on this week's episode of 'Saturday Night Live'". Retrieved May 6, 2017.
  25. ^ "David Ross Struggles as 'Bryzzo' Intern in New Clip". NBC Chicago. Archived from the original on April 27, 2017. Retrieved May 6, 2017.
  26. ^ "Former Chicago Cubs catcher David Ross to be baseball analyst for ESPN". January 20, 2017.

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
James Hinchcliffe & Sharna Burgess
Dancing with the Stars (US) runner up
Season 24
(Spring 2016 with Lindsay Arnold)
Succeeded by
Lindsey Stirling & Mark Ballas