Former Chicago Cubs catcher David Ross, who retired after his team won the World Series in 2016, is the first baseball player to appear on Dancing with the Stars — and he’s dancing to win!
Nicknamed “Grandpa Rossy,” the 39 year-old former MLB star is partnered with Lindsay Arnold, who has past experience dancing with athletes. In season 16, Arnold was paired with American boxer Victor Ortiz and in season 23, she and Calvin Johnson Jr. came in third place.
Ross’ Chicago teammates even claim he’s “got moves” and “stands a good chance of winning.” Here are five things to know about the champion baseballer trading in his cleats for some dancing shoes.
1. Age is just a number for Ross.
Despite earning the nicknames “Father Time” and “Grandpa Rossy” from teammates and fans due to his age and 14 years in the MLB, Ross proved age is just a number when he became the oldest player to hit a home run in Game 7 of the World Series. His Chicago Cubbies went on the win that game, an 8-7 victory over the Indians, for their fist World Series win since 1908.
2. He shares a bromance with fellow competitor Mr. T.
“If I had to vote, I’d vote for Mr. T, he is like my favorite. He’s so good,” the baseball star told PEOPLE. “We hit it off early on. He’s from Chicago, so we’re all talking about that.”
3. Cue the awwwws! Ross married his high school sweetheart.
The doting dad has three children — Landri, Cole and Harper — with wife, Hyla Ross. He’s says that while baseball is his life and job, “family comes first.”
“Being a dad is important to me. We have priorities in life, and the older I get, it’s time for my family to be top priority. … I love this game, but I love my family way more,” he told MLB.com in June.[mlbvideo id="1228056183?topic_id=6479266" width="400" height="224" /]
4. His Chicago Cubs teammates can’t wait to watch him compete on DWTS.
Close friend and teammate Anthony Rizzo wished Ross well on a video shout-out: “Can’t wait to watch those hips move! They don’t lie baby! Good luck and try not to suck.”
Ross told PEOPLE: “I’m anxious to … see how much ribbing I get in the locker room when I show up!”
5. He made a cameo a Saturday Night Live cameo with Bill Murray.
Ross joined Cubs superfan Bill Murray on SNL to celebrate his beloved team’s World Series win by performing an improved rendition of “Go Cubs Go” alongside Rizzo and Cubbies teammate Dexter Fowler.
So, we know he can sing — but can he dance?
Dancing with the Stars season 24 premieres Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.