Results tagged ‘ David Ross ’

David Ross’ long journey began with the Dodgers

david-ross

By Jon Weisman

Baseball’s magnum opus, Game 7 of the World Series, takes place tonight — the Cubs and Indians taking their 176 combined years of bridesmaiding to a final contest.

Among other storylines, this will be the final night as a player for David Ross, who has received about as grand a farewell tour as a backup catcher will ever find. Of course, most of that has focused on his years as a Cub, but he spent a plurality of his professional career in the Dodger organization.

The Dodgers signed Ross 18 years ago, days after he was taken in the seventh round of the 1998 draft out of Florida. Only three of the 50 players the Dodgers drafted that year played for the team: first-rounder Bubba Crosby, fifth-rounder Scott Proctor and Ross. At age 21, Ross signed with the Dodgers 15 days before 19-year-old Adrián Beltré made his MLB debut with the team.

Ross would make his MLB debut on June 29, 2002, pinch-hitting for Shawn Green (and striking out) in the ninth inning of a 7-0 loss to the Angels. Beltré played third base, while the Dodgers’ starting center fielder that night was Dave Roberts. Another player in that game, pitcher Terry Mulholland, is now 53 years old.

Ross also happened to be the last Dodger to make his big-league debut before I founded Dodger Thoughts about three weeks later. That might well have been the most noteworthy fact of his first season in the big leagues, if not for the night of September 2.

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Dave Roberts and the Dodgers’ lost 2002 season

roberts & dreifort

By Jon Weisman

Dave Roberts made his Los Angeles debut with the 2002 Dodgers, a mostly forgotten squad whom a couple of weeks ago I called the best third-place team in Dodger history.

Those Dodgers won 92 games but finished behind Arizona and San Francisco in the National League West. Under the current playoff format, they would have made the NL wild-card game against the Giants, who ended up in the World Series against the Angels.

Instead, the ’02 Dodgers missed the postseason entirely, so their record as a team has largely been ignored. But in addition to the arrival of Roberts, there were these individual memories:

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