On October 24, 2019, the Chicago Cubs hired former Florida Gator David Ross as their manager. Ross replaced skipper Joe Maddon and signed him to a three-year contract.
Hopes for a Return to the Diamond
Ross’s first year taking on a managerial role has come to a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The new Cubs manager hopes baseball will provide a great distraction as fans await its anticipated return.
When interviewed about the 2020 MLB season, Ross said he wants to get back to competition.
“I just want to get back to being with the guys and competing for a goal… we’ll be playing to give people something to look forward to, to flip on TV and to follow their favorite team and root for their team or whatever it is you love about baseball…” he said.
Although opening day’s first pitch was put on pause, Ross stated how Major League Baseball is working diligently to play games at some point this season. However, Ross added that the most important factor should be getting everyone in this country healthy. Despite his debut as a manager being prolonged, Ross believes that the situation millions around the world are enduring is bigger than baseball.
“There’s still people dying at an alarming rate. People losing their jobs and going without money. As much as we miss baseball… we also need to put an importance on the things that matter right now and that’s just getting us all back to our way of life that we’re accustomed to.”
Time at the University of Florida
After the 1997 college baseball season, Ross transferred from Auburn University to the University of Florida. In 1998, he went on to play one season for the Florida Gator baseball team. Ross is one of the select players to advance to the College World Series with two different colleges, the Tigers in 1997, and the Gators in 1998.
Ross made the decision to forgo his final season of NCAA eligibility after his junior season with UF when he was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Days in the Big Leagues
In 1995, the Los Angeles Dodgers drafted David Ross in the 19th round. However, he accepted a scholarship to play baseball at Auburn University instead. This time around, the Dodgers selected Ross once more in the seventh round of the 1998 draft. He remained in LA until 2004.
Throughout his playing career, he spent time with the LA Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates, San Diego Padres, Cincinnati Reds, Boston Red Sox, Atlanta Braves, and Chicago Cubs.
During his second stint with the Sox (2013), he played a key role in Boston winning their eighth of nine world series championships. Ross went on to win his second World Series title (2016) with the Chicago Cubs, ending the Cubs’ 108-year title drought. With Chicago, he became the oldest player in World Series history to hit a home run.
In the Booth
Following his retirement in 2016, the Cubs named him as a special assistant. In 2017, ESPN hired Ross as a baseball color analyst.
With David Ross concluding his 15-year journey in the Majors, he looks forward to his next chapter as a manager for the Chicago Cubs in hopes of bringing another World Series title to the Windy City.