Jack Benny celebrated every birthday as his 39th, presumably as a hedge against aging. In baseball years, however, the age of 39 qualifies you as a “senior”.
After 14 years in the major leagues, Ross has announced he will retire after the 2016 season. He is enjoying his status as the inspirational paterfamilias of the Cubs locker room, where the younger players call him “Grandpa”. Pitcher Jake Arrieta (age 30) and infielder Anthony Rizzo (age 26) even started a “Grandpa Rossy” Instagram account!
For all the fun they are having with their elder statesmen, the Cubs’ respect for Ross runs deep. Jason Heyward cites Ross as a mentor when they were teammates on the Atlanta Braves. When Heyward signed with the Cubs this past off-season,he upgraded Ross’ accommodations to a family-size suite for every Cubs road trip. "I know how special it is to have teammates like he was my first three years in Atlanta. You don't take it for granted," Heyward said.
And Rizzo sent Ross a heartfelt Father’s Day card:
You get the feeling that card could have been signed by the whole team!
So keep enjoying your final season, Grandpa. May it last until early November!
As you may know, here at H.O.M.E we love intergenerational relationships, and there is no doubt that baseball can help foster some of those relationships. Want to show a mentor or friend your appreciation for them? Make a gift to H.O.M.E. in thier honor!
In honor of the All-Star Game we will be highlighting an all-star seniors every day this week on our blog and on social media! These seniors are retired or "senior" athletes and inspirational older adults who we can learn a thing or two from. Stay tuned!