Ross adds a World Series first in his final game at Wrigley Field
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In his final career home game, David Ross on Sunday night hit a sacrifice fly in the third inning to become the first player in history with a World Series RBI for both the Red Sox (2013) and the Cubs.
He’s one of only three to appear in a World Series for both franchises (also Jon Lester and John Lackey).
The moment is not lost on Ross, who announced his impending retirement before spring training started. It hasn’t been lost on him all season, as he took advantage of nearly every road trip to do everything from play Pebble Beach to swim with a beluga whale.
He spent the last three days soaking in the end of the final games of the year at Wrigley.
“That’s going to be a fun thing for me,” he said on the eve of Game 5. “What better way to do it than in Wrigley Field in front of this crowd?”
The Ross subplot was a big part of the emotional undercurrent for the team as it gathered for its first elimination game of the season.
Even after he was pulled for a pinch-hitter in what is likely his final career start, he got a shout-out from Cub-fan rocker Eddie Vedder during the seventh-inning stretch.
“A lot of people in Chicago have not seen a World Series win for 71 years. I’m sure it’s emotional,” said teammate and close friend Anthony Rizzo. “It’s emotional for us. And to see Rossi, each at-bat, and just talking to him before the game, trying to hold it all in, because this could be his last start, just added to all of that.”
Maddon praised the influence Ross has had on the Cubs’ two deep October runs since signing as a free agent before last season.
“He’s just a different cat,” the manager said of the backup catcher and clubhouse coalition builder. “He’s earned the right to be in these moments. He’s going to make a very good scout, coach, manager – major league manager – whatever he chooses to do. But he has been a huge part of us being successful.”
Notes: Indians outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall fell ill a few hours before the game, and his availability off the bench was uncertain at game time. He did not play. … In the second inning, Ross and Rizzo pulled off the first P-2-3 out on a World Series popup since Philadelphia’s Bob Boone and Pete Rose pulled off the same off-the-catcher’s-glove carom caught by the heads-up first baseman in 1980. … With his fifth career World Series start Sunday, Cubs lefty Jon Lester tied teammate John Lackey for most among active players. … Kris Bryant is the first Cubs third baseman to hit a World Series home run. … With potentially two games left, Javy Baez (16 hits) needs three hits to tie Kenny Lofton for most in a single postseason in franchise history. Baez bunted for a single Sunday night. … The seven combined steals in Game 5 (four by the Cubs) ties the single-game World Series record set by the Cubs and Tigers in 1907.