David Ross, the beloved Chicago Cubs catcher who has captured the hearts of teammates and fans who have been celebrating him all season, might be saying goodbye to his career as a Major League Baseball player for good Tuesday night in a do-or-die Game 6 for his team.
Ross was already sent off in style Sunday during his final game at Wrigley Field in Chicago, when Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder dedicated seventh-inning stretch ditty “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” to the 39-year-old player.
“There’s one guy in particular I want to sing my ass off for,” Vedder said. “He’s No. 3, he’s behind the plate, he may retire, but he’ll never quit — Mr. David Ross, I’d like to belt this one out for you. It’s his last game at Wrigley. Let’s sing it for him.”
(Was his version as memorable as Bill Murray’s rendition of the tune? You decide).
Ross has announced he will retire at the end of the season after 14 years in the major leagues.
The Indians are up 3-2 going into Tuesday night’s Game 6, and a victory in the best-of-seven series would bring them their first World Series title since 1948, simultaneously sending home the Cubs, who are seeking their own first World Series win since 1908.
Related Video: Chicago Cubs Swept Out of Playoffs on the Day They Were Predicted to Win World Series in Back to the Future
Ross has become a beloved member of the team since joining the Cubs in 2015.
“He’s passionate about his craft,” said Cubs manager Joe Maddon, per the Chicago Tribune. “He makes everybody around him a little bit better.”
Slugger Kris Bryant lauded Ross as well. “He’s so important to this team in so many ways,” Bryant said, per the Daily Herald. “The way he handles the staff and the catchers, and the way he helps with all the young players in this locker room. He knows so much about the game, the little things, and he shares that wisdom and that matters a lot.”
To commemorate his retirement, fellow players have been showing Ross lots of love, including presenting him with a surprise video tribute along with a framed jersey, the home plate from a no-hitter he once caught, and the number 3 —his team jersey number — from the Wrigley scoreboard.
Other gifts have come from Cubs right fielder Jason Heyward, who paid for hotel suites for every road game this season for Ross and his family, and pitcher Jon Lester, who gave Ross a guitar with the World Series logo and signed by his teammates.
Meanwhile, young guys Bryant and Anthony Rizzo even started up an Instagram account for their BFF “Grandpa Rossy,” documenting moments from the catcher’s final season.
Cubs fans surely wouldn’t mind if the next post on the page is a photo of Ross hoisting the championship trophy.