Bainbridge-born World Champion to shoot hoops with Harlem Globetrotters

Published 5:51 pm Tuesday, February 28, 2017

World Champions hail from all over. They can be from huge areas like New York or Atlanta, or they can be from your own backyard. They can trot the globe at the peak of their success, and while they wear names of big cities on their chest, it does not always reflect where they’re from.

As for David Ross, a two-time World Series winner, his birthplace is right here in Bainbridge. While he was born here, he grew up and attended school in Tallahassee before going on the play baseball at the collegiate level for Auburn and eventually transferring to Florida. He played in the College World Series twice, once with Auburn and once with Florida, before making the jump to the majors.

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Fast-forward through his professional career and David Ross was the catcher for two different World Series Championships, one with the Boston Red Sox in 2013, and one with streak-ending Chicago Cubs this past year.

“There’s honestly not a whole lot of words,” said Ross about breaking the World Series drought in Chicago. “It’s just amazing. It’s one of those things that you can’t fathom until it happens and even then it doesn’t seem real. It’s changed my life in so many ways.”

What comes next after winning the World Series twice? Besides settling down for some family time, playing with the Harlem Globetrotters is on Ross’ agenda.

After driving down the street in Tallahassee recently, Ross’ son noticed a sign for the Globetrotters upcoming show. After making a few calls about tickets, Ross ended up being asked to be a part of the event.

“I think I’m a little nervous,” Ross joked, “I don’t know exactly what I’m doing yet. It’s all in good fun and I’ll be the first to make fun of myself. Hopefully they’ll get a good laugh for the people and hopefully my kids will see dad be somebody that can let people poke fun at him.”

Ross will be taking the floor with the Harlem Globetrotters in Tallahassee on Wednesday, March 1.

After hopefully holding his own against the traditionally tricky trotters from Harlem, Ross will be settling into his new roll as an analyst for ESPN.

“I wanted to keep my foot in the door with baseball,” said Ross, “ESPN has been great to me, I did some playoff stuff for them in ’14 and ’15 and they were great to me so when they called I wanted to jump on.”

Along with ESPN, Ross will be taking on a more front-office roll with the Cubs, which he hopes will be beneficial to his roll as ESPN. Ross will be scouting for the Cubs in this region of the country, and says he already has teams and games picked out to go see this season.

As far as stepping away from the game, that seems to be determined for Ross. Spending time with his family is the emphasis, and seeing how time-consuming his new rolls are will determine a lot of if it’s time to step away.

Also, a want to give back to the game that has given him so much played a big factor in accepting the new positions.

As far as locally, Ross had advice for the kids that are playing in the little league in Bainbridge.

“I think the thing that’s missing now in our society is the realization that it’s a game,” said Ross. “Everybody wants to see their son or daughter be the next professional athlete and see the dollar signs and some of these things.”

Fun and simplicity were what Ross preached for the young kids getting involved with baseball. Any of these kids playing in little league here in town could find themselves on a major league field one day, because champions come from all over and remind us why we love the sports we love. Even if it is as simple as have fun. 

“I think that we get lost on the process and forget to have fun, said Ross. “I would tell all these guys and girls to work hard and have fun. I know that seems simple, but simplicity is what we’re getting away from.”