David Ross, AKA Grandpa Rossy, the recently retired back-up catcher for the World Champion Chicago Cubs, is starting his post-baseball life by, well, reminiscing about his life in baseball.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports has reported that Ross is writing a book called “Teammate: My Life in Baseball.” While the book will be centered around the Cubs’ amazing, magical Game 7 of the 2016 World Series, it’s going to be about a lot more.
Ross wasn’t sure if (or even why) people would be interested in his story. He’s a backup catcher, after all, who spent his 15 major league seasons on seven different teams. But Don Yaeger, his co-author, convinced Ross that he had a story to tell, and that people would want to read it. Yaeger is an editor for Sports Illustrated and a bestselling author who has worked with John Smoltz, Warren Moon and John Wooden, so he definitely knows a good story when he sees one.
“Besides the Cubs, [Yaeger] just thought it was a good story — my career, and the good-teammate aspect of it — what makes a good teammate, whether it’s on the field or in a business aspect, any kind of team you might be on to help better people, get the most out of people,” Ross said.
As you might be able to tell by the title, the teammate part is going to be one of the major thrusts of his book. Ross is known as a leader in the clubhouse, and he wants to pay tribute to the people in his life that helped him become the type of player — and person — that others look up to.
“I’m super humbled by all that, and all the nice things people say. But I really believe it’s a product of all the wonderful people I’ve been around. I want to talk about how these guys affected my life in a positive way and helped me grow into the person and player and teammate that I am today.”
He mentioned Bobby Cox, Robin Ventura, Dave Roberts, and fellow catcher Brian McCann as a few of those who have affected him throughout his career as both players and managers.
But of course, Ross will have to write about his role in Game 7, which is enough for a book in itself. He had just one plate appearance in the sixth inning of what would end up being a ten-inning game. And Ross definitely made the most of that one plate appearance: he hit a solo home run, which put the Cubs up 6-3 over the Cleveland Indians. The Cubs (eventually) won the game 8-7, and Ross was carried off the field by his ecstatic teammates. If there’s a better way to wrap up a career in baseball, it hasn’t yet been discovered.
Despite the completion of Ross’ career, the book isn’t finished yet. Yeager is currently interviewing some of Ross’ teammates and family members for “Teammates: My Life in Baseball,” which will be out in May 2017.
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