David Ross exited a baseball field the way every boy dreams and few middle-aged men experience.
Ross homered in his final major league at-bat, won a World Series in his final major league game, and gazed upon the field of victory atop his teammates’ shoulders after the coda sounded on an incredible Fall Classic and an otherwise unmemorable journeyman’s career.
Ross never hit .300. He played in more than 100 games in just one season. But he stuck around long enough to see that the pedestrian chapters of his baseball career ended in ALL CAPS and an exclamation point.
“A lot of ups and downs—I’m totally exhausted,” Ross told Fox after the Chicago Cubs’ comeback championship. “What a group of winners, what a group of resilient winners.”
The Cubs came back from a three-games-to-one deficit to win their first World Series since 1908. On Wednesday night, the team blew a three-run lead in the eighth to the Cleveland Indians before turning frustration into elation with a two-run tenth. The game played as a classic even for the Fall Classic. David Ross rebelled against his bit-part role and wrote himself in as a major character for the dramatic tale with the cliffhanger ending.
Including Wednesday’s homer, Ross went 2-for-5 with two RBI on the series. The backstop backup ends his journey in the bigs after stops in eight cities and boasting a career batting average just north of the Mendoza line at .229.
“It wasn’t,” he insisted to Fox regarding whether he thought about his career ending during the career-defining game. “I was staying in the moment.”
His teammates provided another moment by abruptly ending the interview by hoisting the 39-year-old kid on their shoulders.