In David Ross’ last MLB at-bat, he hit a home run in the Chicago Cubs’ World Series-clinching Game 7 win in 2016, forever placing him in Cubs’ lore. On Thursday, Ross was officially hired by the Cubs to win another championship, this time as the team’s manager.
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“I’m honored by this opportunity to be the next manager of the Chicago Cubs,” Ross said in a statement. “My time with this organization has been special since the day I joined, so to continue with the club in this role is a blessing for which I’m so very thankful.”
The #Cubs today named David Ross the 55th manager in franchise history, agreeing to terms on a three-year contract through the 2022 season with a club option for 2023. pic.twitter.com/gbIrUm5m2C
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) October 24, 2019
Ross, 42, was already employed in the Cubs’ front office, in addition to working as an ESPN baseball analyst, but has no managerial experience. His leadership, however, is what helped him earn the job.
“David is as gifted a leader as I’ve ever come across, and I expect him to become a great manager,” Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said in a statement.
Ross is inheriting a Cubs team that has recently fallen shy of lofty expectations. After building a core of top-notch talent that included Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber, the Cubs seemed set up for multiple title runs. Yet injuries and underperformance led to a third-place finish in the NL Central this year, missing the playoffs entirely.
‘I don’t want to dim God’s light’
In his time away from playing, Ross was hired as a special assistant to baseball operations for the Cubs, worked as an ESPN baseball commentator, wrote a book, appeared on “Dancing With the Stars,” and got involved in public speaking. In 2017, Ross visited City First Church in Rockford, Ill., and discussed God’s role in his life.
“You kind of have to put yourself out there a little bit,” Ross said. “But if you can affect or change one life and help someone else realize that I’m not perfect, that I’ve had trials, and God sends us through trials good and bad, I just want to share that with people.”
Ross is transparent about his own failures, specifically his “bad mouth” and how his kids have called him out about his use of profanity. But Ross is committed to living as a follower of Jesus.
“I try to live through my faith, to put God first, to try and think about the whole cliché of, ‘If God is sitting next to me what would He think [about my behavior]’ … about what sort of example I’m setting for my family,” Ross said. “I don’t want to dim God’s light, I want to let Him shine through me.”
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