Ex-Gators catcher David Ross of Cubs homers in his last game, Game 7 of the World Series

By Adam Silverstein
November 2, 2016
Ex-Gators catcher David Ross of Cubs homers in his last game, Game 7 of the World Series

Image Credit: ESPN Images

Age before beauty, they say.

Former Florida Gators catcher David Ross, playing his 15th and final MLB season, became the oldest player in history to hit a homer run in Game 7 of the World Series on Tuesday night as the Chicago Cubs triumphed to win their first championship in 108 years.

Ross, 39 and in his second season with the Cubs, entered the last game of his career in the bottom of the fifth inning as a substitute catcher to work with pitcher Jon Lester, who played in relief of Kyle Hendricks. It did not start well for Ross, who committed a throwing error and saw a wild pitch bounce off his catcher’s mask as Chicago allowed the Cleveland Indians to score two runs in the frame.

As luck would have it for Ross, he got an immediate shot at redemption as it was his turn to bat in the top of the sixth. And wouldn’t you know it, he absolutely crushed a ball to center field for his 12th home run of the season, third-most in his career and most since he hit 17 back in 2007. The homer was Ross’s second in the eight game he’s played this postseason.

Ross began his career with Auburn (1996-97) before transferring to Florida for the 1998 season. He played in the College World Series with the Gators that year but decided to leave early and play professional baseball. Ross played for seven different clubs including the Los Angeles Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates, San Diego Padres, Cincinnati Reds, Boston Red Sox (two stints), Atlanta Braves and Cubs. He previously won the World Series with the Red Sox in 2013 and on Wednesday night achieved his second ring.

Earlier this season, Ross caught the first no-hitter of his career — in the same game he smacked his first home run of the 2016 season. He’s played more games this year than he has in any season since 2007.

After the game, while doing an interview on the field, Ross was hoisted onto his teammates’ shoulders. Just moments later, the Cubs were given the World Series trophy.

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